When did your social anxiety start?


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When did your social anxiety start? Can you pin point what started it? I'm just wondering because I watched some Youtube videos on social anxiety and some people can remember when their social anxiety started. Sometimes people even remember certain experiences that brought on their social anxiety.

I do have some experiences in grade school of being rejected by others. But I had social anxiety way before that. In fact, in my case, I have always been shy with social anxiety as far back as I can remember. I even remember being this way in preschool. Yes, I remember preschool. I was told I was even shy when I was running around in dippers. I have always been shy and had social anxiety.

Deep down inside I have feelings of unworthiness and an inferiority complex. I feel like that is the cause of my social anxiety. But how can a person be born with these kinds of feelings? I had those feeling even in preschool - I couldn't connect with the other kids because of it.
I can remember bawling my eyes out when mum was leaving me at pre-school, and also when my brother started school. And according to my mother, i cried a lot as a baby. It seems my social/anxiety issues started really early, like it did with you. I suspect the anxiety came first. There is a thing called "trait anxiety" which people are born with.
There is some evidence to suggest that those with anxiety disorders have a different brain to those without. Its layout is slightly different. (this is not really proven though)
However, sometimes the way we are raised has an impact too. If our parents and surrounding adults are scared of spiders for example, we will learn that behaviour and also be scared of spider. It's possible you were exposed to SA and it's learnt behaviour.
Although, I think your case maybe similar to mine. It's natural for children to experience shyness, although most grow out of it. But for some it just gets worse. In my case I had shyness as a toddler/child, and then also developed a stutter (I don't remember how or when exactly) and from then on it was downhill from there.
Can you think of anything that may have been factor of your SA around pre-school age?

(I personally do think you can be born with it. It's a mental disorder, and I believe these can be genetic, however, how you are raised plays a huge part. Just because you're born with a mental disorder does not mean it will impact your life)


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I don't remember how I felt when I went to first grade, but I have a distinct memory of my mom (or grandma?) dropping me off and I was just clinging to her jacket not wanting to go in. I also remember that the bell at the school wasn't automatic yet (the cleaning ladies would ring the bell), and this one time when I was in 4th grade or something it was like 2 minutes after the hour and I started to freak the hell out thinking it would never ring and my grandfather was waiting for me outside. I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen exactly. I guess part of me thought we'd be trapped in there forever.
When did your social anxiety start? Can you pin point what started it?
Had you asked me this questing seven or eight years ago, I would have felt like I could have given you fairly specific point in time, and a few of my leading theories for its onset. I'm sure buried deep in the archives of SPW there are quite a few posts where I go into detail about it, I think it was something I talked about a lot, and thought about.

I don't remember much of the specifics anymore though. Things started to change around ****rty - 12-13 or so. I think I was always a weird kid, but at a certain point I just sort of stopped talk, almost completely. When one's behavior changes so drastically and suddenly, it's becomes easier to pinpoint points in time, and possible causes.

I think the term "social anxiety" is a fairly broad umbrella though, and not everyone who identifies with the disorder does so in the same way. I think there's a lot of people like you, who feel like you've always been like this, as well as people like me who can remember a transition from being ok to being not ok.


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If your social anxiety started at 12 or 13 vj288, then I'm surprised you don't remember what triggered it.

Can you think of anything that may have been factor of your SA around pre-school age?
I can not. I remember when we had play time that I couldn't connect with the other kids. I also remember peeing my pants a few times because I was afraid to ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom. :)
If your social anxiety started at 12 or 13 vj288, then I'm surprised you don't remember what triggered it.
At that age I had a lot of stuff going on, I don't know if one particular thing triggered it. A lot of which I have worked through, learned from what I could, and moved on from. I'm almost 26 now, and the specifics of what began my descend don't feel as relevant to me anymore I think? I don't feel like what caused my SA (and related issues) are the reason I still struggle with them anymore.
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I don't feel like what caused my SA (and related issues) are the reason I still struggle with them anymore.
Same in my case as well. The reasons I still have severe social problems is because of deep seated issues put there in my childhood, not because of issues today that scare me. The feelings put there of not being good enough...to anyone that still linger.

But to answer your question "when did it start?" I know the day it began and I remember specific events that triggered it in me.

It was 6th grade and my mother dropped me off for my first day of school. I had horrible seperation anxiety so I sat in the back of the classroom crying like a big baby. I even remember the assignment the teacher gave the class, it was about ocean life. I guess the teacher didn't want to play the role of "mommy" to anyone because she obviously didn't give two sh*ts.

Add in bullying issues in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade, nerdy glasses, braces, and a neurological condition that decided to manifest itself in middle school and that is a recipe for disaster.


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I strongly believe that social anxiety is one of the possible symptoms of low selfesteem. Also i think almost everyone feels social anxiety more or less. But for us it became a blockade to do the stuff we want.

I think in my case social anxiety slowly got integrated into my system because my mom was very critical of me and didn't let me make mistakes that children make without getting very angry with me. So while growing up she made me feel like i was less worthy. During highschool that started to express itself into social anxiety and avoidant behaviour. So it was more of a process than a specific moment in time. But usually it starts showing in highschool because kids can be judgemental.

Though i also believe it's possible to turn this process around. Its though, but once you have your foot in the door it can start snowballing. In a positive sense


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I can't exactly pinpoint it but I remember being made to go to a birthday party I'd been invited to at around age 6. I was completely and utterly terrified. I stood in one spot of the room for the longest and didn't speak to anyone. At first even I thought it was just extreme shyness but it manifested itself in different ways throughout my childhood and into early adulthood. At that point I knew something beyond the ordinary was going on with me.


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I'm also the youngest in my family. I have an older brother and sister. When I was younger my sister and brother would talk to me in a way that made me feel like they were smarter than me. Like when they had to explain something to me, which was often. Of course they were smarter than me - they were older. But, that could have got me into a pattern of not feeling as smart as those around me (my family). And that could have carried over to other people - maybe that's why I feel inferior. Maybe that's why I'm shy with other people because I feel like I'm probably not as smart as them just like I'm not as smart as my brother and sister.


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It definitely started with some sort of parenting issues in early and late childhood. It's my firm conviction that the home-schooling I had received, had a lot to do about it, but pampering also had it's own role to play. And also, siblings, who are older than you.

I didn't have much problem in the early years in school(after the period of home-schooling), and I still remembering having at least one friend, with whom I could 'connect' with. But my family had to move around a lot due to my parent's jobs, and I ended up having to go to a lot of schools. And the adjustment to new environments got more difficult for me to handle, in the later grades of school.

And I also remember sitting in the same position in class for the whole day - and repeating that routine for 3-4 years in school. Eventually, I had to go to other schools, and it got even worse. I wouldn't talk, I wouldn't get up from the bench unless it was for lunch - I wouldn't even go to the bathroom(I wonder how I did that :thinking:)

But it's sort of getting 'cured' right now. I do feel occasional 'pangs' of anxiety, but the main problem is just 'sweaty eyes that tear a lot', and a lot of socially awkward behaviour whenever I talk with others. I don't feel I have any problems right now - especially about being introverted. It's like introversion has become an inseparable part of my identity.
I think I was born with it because I have an symptoms of social anxiety disorder as far back as I can remember. There was nothing that had triggered it, it's just always been there so for me it has been a life long thing.


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I think I was born with it because I have an symptoms of social anxiety disorder as far back as I can remember. There was nothing that had triggered it, it's just always been there so for me it has been a life long thing.
Me too. Social stimulation has always made me feel like an outcast

I guess I've gotten a little more confident in being an outcast, though, which is somewhat relieving.
I've been very shy most of my life, so I don't know if I can definitely say when my actual phobia began.

Though I do remember getting up and dancing at a family reunion when I was about 4 years old, I was doing one of those Arabian kicking dances that I'd seen Bugs Bunny do in the cartoons, and I started kicking people's drinks over. Everybody cheered me on and was laughing, but on the way home my dad berated me for it, yelling at me like I was grown.

It shook me up bad, and thinking about it, I can recall other instances like that, not as obvious, because I guess I'd learned my lesson to be invisible in social situations by that point, but I do recall other innocent things I'd done in public which I suppose embarrassed him, or something and him getting mad and wrecking me for it.

My dad was a scary guy, he scared other men, he was always brooding over something and his temper could boil over into violence. I won't get into all of that on Christmas Eve, but suffice it to say I think he played a big part in my current problems.
I've been shy since I was very little. Talking in front of the class and having the attention on me had been a problem since 5th grade. Recalling when I had problems making friends happened when I got to junior high. Everything just got worse from then on.
I am pretty sure that it is something I was born with. I have had it for as far back as I can remember and it was not brought on by any specific events. I think that is the difference between social anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder.


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I just think my social anxiety started when I was kid and then gradually grew. I remember when I was a kid I hated over hearing all of the adult talking and name calling people behind their backs. It was that I knew people was watching and judging me and saying thing without me knowing that bug me . As time keep moving forward I wanted to try my best to stay on their best side and stead of watching out for me like I should have done. I hated hearing them talk bad about other and think their really talking to me just using someone else name to be nice. I hated hearing my mom and ant`s and grandma talk bad about men when I was on the verge of discovering what it really ment to be a real man.It made me feel like their no use in trying to be a nice guy that nice guys are lifeless robot that just took order and was not allowed to dream.
My dad was not much of a teacher he told me straight to my face one day that he did not won`t to have a son he only wanted daughters he said he would not care much for me in tell I had kids for him to talk to. My mother was the only person I connected with.
But then when both my parents pass away I stead in the corner and felt left out from the rest of the family. All of the other family member with their negative comments about then decide since my parents was gone it was now o.k to come out of the dark and tell me what they really think. I remember back when I was a kid in first grade I could not eat school lunch in the lunch room instead I ate lunch in the class room when nobody was around. I alway just ate in my room from that point on. I remember through out my in tire child hood I wanted a mentor to teach me how to be a man and show me the positive of being a man. But that never happen I just grew up on my own and made up my own answers. So I don`t really know what cause my anxiety I think it was just the fact that I need to learn how to fall and keep picking myself up to try again and stop caring so much about the mistake that I could make in the future.