Advice please?

Also new at this... just recently found out there was actually a name to this dreadful condition SA.

I am 35 and have had SA since I was 15. I have lived with it for 20 years but it has gotten much worse with age. I try my darndest to avoid all social gatherings, even with my hubbys family which I have known for 17 years. I do not feel comfortable around anyone outside of my hubby and daughter. I can't talk to people, I freeze up when someone tries to talk to me, if I am in a store and I see someone I know, I pray that they did not see me and I will head off in another direction. I can't even bring myself to go outside and check my own mailbox because God forbid a neighbor may speak to me! I can't even work, I have had 4 jobs my whole life and they lasted only a few months. I feel like such a recluse and I hate it!

I am tired of living this way. I am not only ruining my own life anymore but also ruining my hubbys and daughters. My hubby is very outgoing, will talk to anyone and loves to be around people and he does not understand why I am so backwards. My daughter is 12 and she is at that age where she wants friends to come and stay the night and she wants to stay the night with them, but I can't meet the parents. I am scared stiff even thinking about it. I wont even go to events at my daughters school anymore.

I know that people think that I am a snob and they think that I am rude but I can't help that, I just can't seem to fit in anywhere.

I can't even get up enough courage to talk to my doc about this. I have heard that your regular doc will only refer you to a specialist and I do not have any health insurance and cannot afford this. Can anyone tell me how they approached their doc about SA? And does your regular doc treat you or did you have to see a specialist?

I am also afraid to take antidepressants, I have heard horror stories about them and it scares the whiz out of me that I will have to take a strong drug that will mess me up even more than I already am. Is there a safe and effective medication for SA?

Thanks for any advice!


Well-known member

I just want to say I know how you feel, I know exactly how you feel. You are not alone. There are people all over the world who feel just like you do.

The cause of how you are feeling is low self-esteem/low confidence in yourself and your abiliities/pessimism (thinking negatively-putting a negative energy on everything you think about).

Improving and changing around all of the above will improve your quality of life. You'll notice that you'll start to feel enough courage to go get the mail and actually enjoy talking to your neighbor. At first you might feel a little scared, but with enough of your own mental coaching, you'll find the courage and then when you get back inside you can congratulate yourself.

What you need to do is (and you can do this because you don't have a job right? So you have time! :D) is get yourself a few books to educate yourself on low self-esteem (social phobia), depression, etc. I have a few books that I will recommend.

You can ALWAYS change, at any age. You have to work HARD to be CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT to do the mental work, to unroot your thinking patterns and replace them with new ways. If you sluff off, your negatively entrenched thinking patterns will come back and replace your hard work and you'll be back in the same place, crying.

So consistency and persistence IS the key!! And when you see the negative thoughts roll in you have to stomp them out..and replace them with positive ones. If you stop doing this, you'll become depressed again.

The results of what i'm talking about here are usually quite fast. Youll see what I mean if you do what I say.

1. The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns (let that sink as much as you can, follow Dr. Burn's program. He has a lot of great advice in that book.

2. Read any books you can find on social anxiety, read stuff on the internet, read "best-seller" books on improving self-esteem. Read that book, and let it's concepts sink in and see how it applies to how you feel.

3. Read "CHOOSE THE HAPPINESS HABIT" by Pam Golden. This is a book that you can get for like $3 as an ebook online. THIS BOOK is a program and this program that Pam created is almost the same as that $400 program that is offered on this social phobia website. The link is on the home page, it's a program. The SAME themes can be found in this $3.00 book Ms. Golden wrote.

Let it all sink in, relax...take it slow. Give yourself room to breathe, take it step by step, whatever is comfortable for you. Because it's ALL ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY NOW. It's ALL ABOUT YOU. IT'S ALL ABOUT FEELING BETTER ABOUR YOURSELF, YOUR MARRIAGE, YOUR SANITY, YOUR LIFE.

Think of this as a game, a challenge, because it's something you CAN achieve.

Good Luck, take care, you CAN DO THIS!

I haven't been able to post anything here because I've been working so much.



Well-known member
Leesa, try doing this WITHOUT taking meds. I've stopped taking them myself and I'm doing okay.

Oh and your doctor, I've never told a physician that I had "Social Phobia". But, it wouldn't hurt to tell them! It's good to let your doc in on your stuff, they can help, if they want to.

I would search for a pscyhologist yourself. Search for one that specializes in social anxiety/depression/etc. Tell them all the books you've read, tell them what yOU NEED from them. When you go to psych, it's good to know what you need help with. Then it will provide a clearer picture to the psych. Or you can go clueless, a good psych and figure it out.



Well-known member
I wanted to correct what I said. I wanted to say

The cause of how you are feeling is low self-esteem/low confidence in yourself IN your abiliities/pessimism (thinking negatively-putting a negative energy on everything you think about).


Well-known member
OK! i must be tired! ehehehee i had it written right the first time!

Jess333 said:
I wanted to correct what I said. I wanted to say

The cause of how you are feeling is low self-esteem/low confidence in yourself IN your abiliities/pessimism (thinking negatively-putting a negative energy on everything you think about).


Well-known member

Yeah HI,

A lot of doctors are not familar with social phobia. However it is changing and they are becoming more educated about it. You should discuss it with him or her. Perhaps just mention that you have heard of the anxiety disorder social phobia and you feel you may have it. Ask him if he knows where you could seek treatment. You could also join a support group in your local area. Some run workshops which can teach you a lot. Most psychiatrists will tell you that the best treatment is a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapy. Eventually coming off the medication when you have improved. I have been on anti-depressants and have had no real side effects. If you do experience side effects just talk to your doctor about them. He may switch your medication or adjust the dosage. Medication can be very beneficial and helpfull, but it is not the best long term solution. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely recognised and accepted as the best long term solution.
Good luck
Thank you Jess and Johno

Jess...thank you for the insight and advice. I will try to locate the books that you mentioned. I am an avid book reader. Not much else to do, so I spend alot of time reading.

Johno...thank you also for your advice. Maybe one day soon I will get up enough courage to talk about this with my doc. It is just really hard talking to people, even my doc.


Well-known member

You've taken a great step and looked to others for help. I knew some really really really shy people who would not even talk to their families about their shyness. They would just stay in their rooms and sulk about their sadness. I felt bad for them because I knew they were lonely but were too frightened to reach out to others. They never married. They never had children.

I am hoping that you find the support that you have been looking for here. I know I have.

We are behind you 100%.
You go, Girl! :) :) :wink: :) :)
Thank you Orlando...

I had to reach out to someone for some advice and help, I could not take being so alone with this anymore and when I came across this site I was so excited. I could not actually believe that there were others with the same condition as me until I started reading some of the topics that others had posted.

I am lucky to have to have my hubby and daughter. Meeting my hubby came about at a time in my life when I felt the SA was not as bad and it helped because my family already knew him. I feel as if this stupid condition has gotten worse in the past 8 years and why I do not know.

Anyways, thanks for your reply and encouragememt!



Well-known member

I Know exactly how you feel - I feel so anxious about group gatherings that I have made excuses at work on three occasions to not accept awards that I had won nor turn up to receive my degree from university!!

The bastards at work know I am shy and they recently held a morning tea for another achievement. The boss made me give a speech (standing up in front of 15 workmates .. Not just a thank you speech either. I stuttered, shook and my legs were shaking - I was a mess. I feel so foolish and don't want to face my colleagues in case they laugh.

In case your wondering how I have coped so long for at work - well I work on my own in an office and don't have to worry about interaction unless I win something then they all come out of the woodwork.

Morning tea celebration should be just that - I just wish I could lighten up and enjoy it like alot of other people I know - My hubby and kids are total opposite of me and LOVE to do speeches etc. I hate parties, and make excuses all the time so as not to attend social gaterings.
Its a pain in the arse being like this. Even valium doesn't help.


Well-known member

I've had social phobia for more than a decade.There are times when I think this sadness or depression will never end. I have made friends but I keep my SA a secret so they don't understand why I get so moody all the time. Sometimes, I won't smile for a week. It is hard to smile when you think that everything you do is wrong or bad. It is harder even to talk to people then because I know that if I talk to them then later on that night I will internally criticize myself for saying something stupid. On regular days (when I feel more comfortable), I wouldn't dwell on such things but when I am upset. It's terrible. It is like a snowball rolling down a hill......with each passing second, I am doing something wrong, again...again...again...again..
Sometimes, I feel that I will never have true genuine friends. I worry when I show this 'dark' side (when I am sad or angry) of myself to other people. I worry that they might think that I am weird and then cut off all contact with me. So I keep this happy face on or try really hard to keep a happy face on when I am so angry and sad inside. I hate being me.
I would like to think that one day. I can get away from all this and be myself. I keep reminding myself that tomorrow will be better. I pray.
Does anyone feel the same way?