Social Anxiety?

United States
March 10, 2007 4:13pm CST
My sister says that she has social anxiety and I'm not sure what I can do for her. She has always been a liitle on the shy side but I think it is getting worse. Sometimes she gets freaked out just by meeting people she already knows. What causes this? She is wanting to take medication for it but I'm not sure that is a good idea. I'm afraid she might become dependant on it or it will have some bad side affects. Does anybody know about this or have you experienced it before?
3 people like this
17 responses
• India
11 Mar 07
hello please don't ask your sister to rush to any medication. Its always a second option. I personally know how it feels for persons like these as I experienced it before . please ask your sister to try these things 1.First of all, ask her to talk extensively with children, any matters she like. make her observe the children's mentality and responses 2.Ask her to express her best points and opinions about herself 3.Ask her to discuss only about her favourite things in public, like movies...food...family...travelling etc. 4..Allow her to meet any friends of yours and make sure they are very friendly with her 5.Allow her to conduct games in public parties with relatives and she would make a good organizer 6.Now it will be time to express her views in public ...starting with meeting strangers, making new friends etc. she can never feel any kind of social anxiety if this doesn't work out...please consult a good physician all the best
• United States
12 Mar 07
Thanks, I will ask her to try these things out first.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
Hi Kimko; I have the same problem(s) Whatever you do don't make light of it and try to understand what she is going through. Help her get medical help. It is NOTHING to be ashamed of and not her fault. But if she feels she has it; she needs a good doctor. There are medications that will help her tremendously; and the side effects are rare; and so what if she has to take them forever?? OR NOT!! Look; I am presently being treated for: severe depression resulting in major panic attacks; anxiety disorder leading to agoraphobia(fear of leaving home),PTSD, and several other physical problems. It took me awhile to be able to say "I have a mental disease" but once I did; I got help and meds that I needed. It was like coming out of a cave!!! So; talk to you Sis; LISTEN to her; LOVE HER; and hELP her. blessings to you both
• India
11 Mar 07
i wud like to respond for ur sis prob..........the only way is to make her attend many parties and functions and read related books as much as possible..................see u
1 person likes this
@jbrooks0127 (2326)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I am shy and have been most all my life. If there is an option I would rather not be in a large group setting....or any group setting because I never know what to say. However what you say about your sister is beyond just being shy. If she had to give a speach in from of a large group then yes I can see why she may freak out....but not just meeting people she already knows. She should have no problem with that. There is something going on here that is beyond just being shy. As I am sure your aware there are people that never ever leave the "safety" of thier home for this very reason. Ever. She can be helped by medication I think to help calm her down. But the best bet is for her to see a doctor who will refer her to someone that may be able to help. This is not something she can just talk herself out of. For her it is very real fear and it will only get worse if not treated. Please help her do what ever it takes to make this better because it will make her become more and more of a hermit and life will pass her by.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Mar 07
I have social anxiety. In my case the therapist says it was likely at least partially brought on by trauma, but I might still have had it otherwise to some degree. I think you should try as hard as you can to take your sister's problem very seriously. A lot of people who suffer from social anxiety have to deal with others not taking it seriously, saying they'll "get over it", and forcing them into situations that they aren't comfortable with before they're ready. I've learned a few things that work for me. One is to only do social things that have some sort of focus, an activity that everyone is working on together, or a specific topic. For example, I can go to a friend's house for a roleplaying game, board games, or a movie night far easier than I can go to a "party" or "gathering" where people aren't doing anything structured. The reason for this is that if I become uncomfortable, I can always just focus on the game or movie and try to kind of tone out the social part. I also find that if I am going somewhere with one person I am comfortable with, who understands my situation, that can help a lot. I can give specific instructions beforehand on ways that person can help me, such as talking only to me for a bit if I'm having a problem to get me back in my comfort zone, distracting others for me if I need to get out of a conversation, or even just touching me while I'm talking to someone so that I remember I have support, and will have help to exit the situation if I need to. I think for some people medication is the answer, or therapy, but it depends on the person. If she can manage her social anxiety on her own, that's great, but it's not always possible. Make sure she learns as much as possible about the medication before she starts it, if she does wind up using medication.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Mar 07
go see a shrink... he'll find out the problem...
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I have social anxiety. It started in high school and has gotten so bad I am bordering on being agoraphobic (being afraid to leave the house). I have to force myself out the door just to take my daughter to the bus stop and pick her up. I try to talk my husband into doing those things whenever I can because I don't want to go outside where there are people. It sucks. I have no friends. My kids have no friends. My daughter hasn't had one single play date in 2 years. The only time she sees other kids is at school. My other kids only see each other because we have no friends because I get so nervous around other people I freeze up (or ramble uncontrollably about anything). I suggest she gets actual help before it gets worse. I don't take anything for it and it controls my life. The only interaction I have with adults is online and when I talk to my husband.
• United States
12 Mar 07
Did you ever try to get help? Maybe you should try the medication as well. I hope that you find something that works for you and wish you the best of luck.
@agusfebi (813)
• Indonesia
11 Mar 07
Millions of people around the world suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia) and related conditions. Despite being the most common type of anxiety disorder and the cause of much impairment and suffering, it is under-recognised and under-treated. Yet virtually everyone knows what it is like to feel shy or lacking in social confidence, often to an extent that can limit opportunities and happiness. Because social anxiety issues are still relatively unknown amongst the wider public, most aren't even aware that the thing which can have such a huge impact on their lives has a name. The three main aims of this site are to provide a starting point for people just finding out about SA and related issues, to enable them to access further information through this site and through external links; to act as a central hub for the community of those with social anxiety problems in the UK; and to attempt to raise the profile of SA problems and campaign for change, so that in future, people afflicted by them don't have to suffer in silence as so many of us have done in the past. SA-UK is a volunteer-led organisation so don't expect a miracle cure! However, most of us have found that just finding out more about the issues and talking to other people who know what it is like to experience the same problems has been truly beneficial. It might feel like it sometimes, but you are not alone....
• United States
11 Mar 07
Bless you for this post! I was diagnosed with depression nearly 20 years ago and have also suffered social anxiety, and the misunderstandings people have about these disorders is so frustrating! A lot of people don't understand how medication helps and think it's a chemical dependency issue. So many people have these afflictions, yet so few try to learn about and understand them!
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
10 Mar 07
She should try the medication, if she takes it as prescribed, then she should not have to worry about a dependency. As for side effect, if she has any, she can stop taking the medication. SHe should go for therapy along with the medication for best results. trust me on this.
• United States
10 Mar 07
Thanks for the advice
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
10 Mar 07
She might try going to a therapist first, they would be able to tell if therapy would be enough to help her with her anxiety or if she might need medication. Either way, this sounds like something she will need professional help for and not something she can overcome herself. Take care.
• United States
10 Mar 07
Thanks but I'm pretty sure she wont go for therapy.
• United States
9 Apr 08
my first attack of social anxiety was in fourth grade...no joke i remember someone telling me my teacher was gonna be mean and beat us with a ruler...my stomach dropped and from then on ive had it bad! not only do i get nervous i get sick to my stomach and have panic attacks...i dated a girl who for the first 4 months everytime i would get around her my panic attacks would kick in and id get sick to my stomach and my blood pressure would shoot sky high....i dont take medicine i try to deal with it the best i can....my girlfriend doesnt understand why i dont go to many family functions with her ive tried explaining but she claims its just an excuse....i guess nobody can really understand it unless they deal with it
@wawaww (69)
• Indonesia
11 Mar 07
I want anybody with an anxiety disorder or someone concerned about someone who has one to know that these are real illnesses, they are serious, and they are treatable. So I strongly encourage people
@cyrux004 (949)
• India
11 Mar 07
More than medicines i would advise you meet a good pshycologists. She needs to talk and get her problem explained. May be after speaking her self out to somebody who can actually understand and interpret what she is trying to say , she definitely will recover
• United States
11 Mar 07
Ohh poor thing..I kinda know what she is going threw because of my cousin..shes 30 now and she has severe SA,,she has recently been put on Zoloft i believe is the name..and it has helped her immensely..she says she wouldnt know what she would do without it..I think it would be best for you sister tolook into medication..because since you dont go threw it..yu really have no idea what she is going threw,,have her talk to her doctor as soon as she can..she needs the help hun..
• India
11 Mar 07
i dont think taking medication would be right.i think u and ur parents should talk to her and involve her in ur discussions.u may also take her opinion in some activities like before purchasing anything ask about her choice herself.make her feel that she can think and act independently.once she grows in confidence she will no longer have social anxiety.also let her spend some time with her friends.
@hopeful28 (1439)
• Singapore
11 Mar 07
I think I can identify with your sis's problem because I used to be like that. Even now, though I am better, if I had a choice I would rather stay home and enjoy my own company rather than go out and be with others. Maybe your sis has some self-image problems and self-inferiority complex. It would be good if she is willing to go see a psychiatrist who offers psychotheraphy because wise counselling may be better and healthier for her than pills. Maybe she needs to be able to talk about certain things which she has been keeping inside and if someone professional can help to draw it out of her it would maybe help her see things from a more positive perspective and help her be more ready to meet people without fear. It's good to find emotional and mental freedom - life seems brighter and more cheery somehow. Good luck to you and her.
• China
11 Mar 07
I have social anxiety too when I think the future life,I fill the pressure,the life,is diffucult