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Am I Socially Inept?
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Am I Socially Inept?

Okay so here's the story. I'm a guy that is 20 going to be 21 on the 8th, I've never been in a relationship. I feel like this is killing my possibilities of ever getting into a relationship. I have no friends that I've hung out with in over a month and I can't make new friends for whatever reason. I think I might have a personality disorder but the medication I take only works for small periods of time when taken. I can't seem to find girls that I like or that like me. I mean really why is it so hard to find smart, Atheist, attractive girls who like the snow or even two of those things in my area? Well I can tell you it's because I live in the midwest and the midwest is full of a**holes that don't give a s*** about anyone else. If you're not Christian you don't belong and that mentality for a plethora of other things. I try so hard to make people like me but nobody ever does and I went all the way through high school, the easiest time of my life to get dates and I never even got a kiss. I got a hug that I managed to f*** up and in college so far which by most people's standards should be easier haven't even gotten that. I could have had sex twice but played the nice guy and then went crazy and lost that connection completely.

Will I ever get over this complete failure of a life that I have up to this point, or will I always be stuck as an awkward teenager never to get better at anything. I honestly feel like there's no hope; I mean I've gone almost 21 years and can't keep a friend for more than a year span it seems. I can't even get dates in the easiest time of my life, in the end I guess I just want to look back and see one success. That's it, one stinking success maybe then I'll be happy but now...now just feels like life is dragging along and I can't get up and walk away from the trench that I've created by sliding on my belly for so long.

It's not like I'm unattractive or weak or anything, quite the contrary. I'm just massively insecure, my psychologist says I have such a fear of rejection that I force rejection onto others before they can reject me...at least thats what I think he means. He said "You fear rejection so much that even the thought of being rejected makes you paranoid and think the worst about people. You always feel like people are leaving you even if it's just a few days without talking." Well guess what, to add a nice golden topping, I'm officially the only single guy I know, even the massive stoner that I'm extremely close friends with has a girlfriend now. Someone who once told me that life could be extended infinitely if we took sex out of the equation, now is getting more action than me.

I straight up suck, officially now, more than any one human being I know. Does this seem like I'm completely socially inept? Because to me it says that I need to escape to somewhere else maybe ever in my mind or something but I just need to go.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I'm serious... I don't know how to make friends or anything. It's killing me. I don't understand people at all. Come on, respond.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Fantastic, I'm more than happy to try to help you.  I really feel for you guy and wish I knew exactly what to say.  I wish I could lead you where you need to go.  I will try to help any way I can.  

When you say you don't know how to make friends----------- what happens?  What is the feedback from them or what do you feel the feedback would be?

You are very smart---------- I clearly see that.  So I am guessing that you are insightful to others in your own way---------- so tell me where you get stalled with others and where you've tried before and I will try to help.  I promise.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
Honestly, I don't know how to approach people to even begin talking to them at all. I was brought up in a military family and my dad brought home the don't speak unless spoken to thing and when spoken to only say what's important and now I don't know how to use small talk or anything else. I wasn't even allowed to explain answers for the most part as a child and now it's coming back to bite me in the ***.

When I go to talk to people though, I can stay interested for about a day or two and after that, I just get bored with most people. I mean really I shouldn't feel that most of the people I talk to aren't interesting but I do. Honestly, I'm more interested in actually getting a girlfriend than friends because both will screw you over but at least you get something out of a date right? Don't you get confirmation of self worth or something whereas if you just have friends, you generally have a bunch of other single losers around you ruining your chanced of ever getting a date ever.

I feel like I have to dumb down everything I go to say so much that I look like a moron when I talk to people, I've watched myself many times and notice that I do this quite a bit. I also feel like the people I talk to will think I'm just an arrogant *** if I speak the way I speak with my one friend because I do speak the way I write and I don't mean stuff like this, I mean papers for school. I don't speak in fragmented sentences like most other people today and I do examine my options of what and how to say things quite a bit. But I don't get to do that with most people I run into.

Also, I don't know if I should be trying to make friends at my current college considering there is a girl going around telling everyone that I'm crazy. I said something she picked up shopping when we were still hanging out was "sexy", completely joking mind you, and she threatened to leave me at the store if I ever said that again... I don't get it, I'm nice to someone and they threaten to leave me somewhere. I knew she wasn't interested in me and I really wasn't in her but she stopped talking to me even though we were really good friends at the time.

I don't think it's that I can't make friends, I think it's more an issue of fearing that everyone will leave me. I really have started to hate, and I do mean hate, almost everyone in this area of the country and I don't really feel a need to change that but I still want to have friends.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hm.  Okay----------  I do see a couple of things here.  First, you feel very alone and that you are completely unusual.  Unique is very true but the human existance means that we have more people that are like us than we know. Not exactly, but there is another fantastic out there and buried under everything they hide behind.  They may  have learned some social navigational tools along the way and be harder to spot---------  but I guess I just want you to know that other people do feel like you.

I have some social anxiety.  Very few people actually knows this about me in my adult life.  I have learned tools to fit into any crowd and talk to whomever I encounter.  But I feel it on the inside.  Granted, it has gotten better but I will tell you that walking into a room of strangers is enough to make me hyperventilate.  So I tell you this because you never know what is going on inside those you encounter.  

So what I'd focus on is looking for the connection level.  I wouldn't worry about dumbing down or trying to totally fit in.  I'd worry about doing what YOU like to do and getting to know those you encounter doing THAT.  And as you connect to someone as yourself, you will get along better with them, understand them more and have a better chance of staying interested in them.  

So you've mentioned that you do see a psychiatrist and therapist.  How are you doing with your depression?  I ask because I'm sure you are aware of the negative thought patterns you have.  The hating all people where you are is possibly part of that.  It is a sense of hopelessness that I hear.  But the good news is you are seeking change in your life.  That is hopeful.  That is the first step to a different pattern. I want you to be hopeful.  You are young, smart and capable.  

Now, regarding this chick who is talking bad about you.  Ugh.  Low life.  Ignore her and the problem.  Hopefully you go to a sizable college and this will pass quickly.  But remember, sometimes we think things are going on that aren't.  I'm sure few people are all that interested in what she says. Does your college have any organizations or groups you could join?  What about an intermural sports team (remember that you like athletic things and know that this is great for soothing the nervous system, brain and soul)?   What about a drama club or working with theatre (I'm guessing you are techinically inclined for backstage even if front stage isn't your cup of tea)?  I have found volunteering with our heart in the place of helping others to be a great place to find others to connect to.  I think if you have any passion in what you are doing you will meet people along the way.  And maybe they'll have the same passion and you will click.  And I'm sending you to the gym.  I think this is a great place to casually converse with people and get to know them on a friend level and otherwise.

I look at social interaction as something to build on.  Every social interaction you have is practice for the next one.  So any little bit you encounter is a good thing.  You learn along the way.  You've learned that not being yourself doesn't work for you.  Be you dude.  Let me tell you something, I'm a semi smart person myself.  What do I love?  Interesting different people.  A good solid thinking cap that can converse with me (not argue but discuss things respectfully), challenge my own thinking, present something new to me.  Now THAT is attractive.  Burping frat boys bored the heck out of me.  

Again, I'm probably not addressing your actual question but I'd like to so tell me where I need to go to help.  Oh, and happy new year.  It IS a NEW year!!
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1489305_tn?1315183107
Well, it's finally come down to this, I think I'm unable to change. I think I'm so miserable now that I have no chance at ever being any better. It probably doesn't help that I've been sick for the last week but I just feel at a loss. I don't see any way to change my personality, or anything else about me for that matter. I just feel like crap constantly.
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392422_tn?1325792804
Ok, so this is going to sound absolutly ridiculous seeing as how you apparently have trouble making friends and feel that you're on a different intellect level as many other people.

Have you tried to make friends online?

Also if you concentrate on finding a girlfriend and put your self worth in that then you're bound to continue to see the failures in your life rather than seeing the value of having friends.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
Actually yes, I have made many friends online. Matter of fact, I commuicate with them on a much more regular basis than I do with those people that I've met offline. I have a pretty good track record with people I've met online compared to those that I've known for years.
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973741_tn?1342346373
What skills do you think you have online that you don't have in person?  Could any of them carry over?
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I think it's the fact that I'm not face to face with people. I'm easily intimidated I guess... I just have no confidence in myself and it's showing now that I'm losing interesting things that I've loved and been good at for a few years now.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I'm confused, what interesting things are you losing?  

I agree that not being face to face takes an element out of interaction that can make it easier.  I find you quite personable here and wish I could get you to have the confidence you deserve when in person.  

I want to also tell you that you are in a place that many have difficulty with.  When you are out of college and starting your life----------- I really think things will feel better to you.  What type of career are you looking into?
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1489305_tn?1315183107
"interest in" sorry since I can't edit posts, things just have to stay as they are when written incorrectly.

I'm hoping to be a graphic designer but I'm not even sure I'm good enough to do that any more.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I have a niece that is in one of the top graphic design schools in the country (nationally acclaimed, etc.). We were chatting and she told me that the main thing they believe at her school is that if someone possesses great intelligence, they can become great graphic designers.  They do not test for artistic ability at all but instead look at test scores and grade average.  

Dude, you are smart.  You'll be a fine graphic designer.

You are certainly going through a low period.  I know in the past you've talked about seeing a doctor.  Does this help at all?  Do you take medication (and you don't have to post your medical history here or anything)----------  I am just concerned that you are sinking into a depression.  

My husband has seasonal depression which makes the winter months so much worse than other times of the year.  Do you experience that at all?  

Does anything give you pleasure right now?  You had mentioned playing music in the past.  Does this still make you happy?  
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I've had nothing make me happy for the last week or so. I'm on a drug called Risperidone, it's for the cyclic thinking that I have, it's actually an anti-psychotic. It works quite wonderfully for what it's made for but does nothing for depression. I actually feel that I'm falling back into a depression as well, I'm going to talk to my psychologist about it on monday, but he doesn't really seem to have much to say that helps anymore... He's not bad I've just found that I don't really have any hope that I'm going to get better any time soon.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Ugh.  I think that you need to have them address your mediation.  Risperidone is used for many things these days and can be amazing but you do sound depressed and that has to be factored in.  If you see your psychologist, let them know you need to talk to someone about the med issue.  Is there a psychiatrist in the office with the therapist?  If not, please set up an appointment with a doctor to look at your meds and what can be added, deleted, tweaked to help you with the depression.  It will cloud all the things you want to do and that do make you happy if not resolved.  

I want you to know that I'm really sorry you are going through this and feel hopeless as you seem to.  There is always hope.  I really want you to try and believe that things will get better.  Peace.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I don't know if I believe it's a medication issue, I just don't think that the main issue has been addressed at my appointments with the psychiatrist. I'm miserable and just quit the job with the best benefits I'll ever have because I didn't want to pay for gas. This time last year, I wouldn't have ever thought that I'd basically give up skiing but I did...and it hurts but I had to.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I think what worries me is that you write as if these things are just happening beyond your control.  And you are aware.  It hurts to quit a job that was beneficial to you because you didn't want to pay for gas.  Was it that you couldn't pay for gas or you just didn't want to?  I'm trying to understand.  And that you feel like things are out of your control, it makes me think more in terms of diagnosis and treatment for it.  I agree that a big piece to the puzzle is also the talk therapy that goes along.  

What do you think the "main" issue is, if  it is okay to ask that.  If it feels uncomfortale here, you can pm me.  

I do agree that lots of things seem like they are bottoming out for you right now.  I wish I could stop that.  If your therapy is not going in a direction that you need it to--------- can you stop them and redirect?
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I think the main issue is that I'm miserable and have no social skills, it's not like I'm miserable once in a while, I'm miserable all the time. I'm so miserable that I sit around at home and watch tv all day not good TV like house, Dexter, Bones, or Weeds, no no no, I sit at home and watch tv shows that are absolutely horrible like cops, and shows that I have no interest in.

I'm miserable all the time would be what should be taken away from that I guess.
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973741_tn?1342346373
See, I keep coming back to depression.  When we are clinically depressed, we lose interest in the things we usually like.  And . . . we are miserable all the time.  With other diagnosis, you'd feel this too but I just keep thinking of depressive symptoms for you.  What happens when your therapist and psychiatrist takes the depression route to help you?  (in terms of the talk therapy they provide and medication.)
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973741_tn?1342346373
Do you have any family member at all that you "connect" with?  Sibling, cousin, aunt, auncle, parent?  
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I've been on multiple medications for depression, none of which seem to do anything at all. I've been on benzos for anxiety, the normal medications for depression, several medications for bipolar disorder all of which I had negative side effects with one of which had me under my desk with a knife against my neck for over a year at college last year, now I'm on antipsychotics which seem to silence my inner dialogue voice, but I still have the complete and utter misery that nothing seems to make go away. This is my second psychiatrist and I've been seeing the same psychologist since I was about 12. We've tried changing my thought patterns but I can't do it, I work hard to get a certain thought pattern fixed and as soon as I can control it, something always happens to make me more miserable. Now I have no friends and no motivation to do anything.

So to answer your question clearly, nothing has helped my depression, not medication, not therapy, not anything, but I haven't tried to get new medication for depression from my new psychiatrist yet, I see her again on monday.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
in the previous post it should say, "for over an hour" not year
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973741_tn?1342346373
Okay.  Let me tell you something that I dealt with when patients took risperidone.  It is a great drug.  And something that was good in some ways also made things difficult for some people.  Taking the drug helped many symptoms of the disorder it was perscribed for (most often schizophrenia at that time and later branching out into many other psychiatric areas)-------- but patients/clients would all of a sudden become more aware of things.  It hurt them emotionally.  They knew they were sick.  Could this be going on with you and leading to this misery?  

I really hope I am not prying too deep into your personal business. I am just wishing I could make things better.
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1489305_tn?1315183107
I don't mind you asking these questions, I'm online, it's essentially anonymous.
That could indeed be happening, I was never told that the drug could do that. In all honesty, I feel like I'm trolling everyone here, inadvertently of coarse. I'm unhappy all the time so I'm not sure that the medication is doing this but it is a possibility. Should I be trying to get another medication for the depression or should I be just coming off of this all together.

And I would like to make this clear, I'm not exactly the type to keep secrets, so if you have something to ask that you think will make a difference please do ask because I want to get better and answering these questions helps us both.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, I'm not saying that the drug isn't working or causing a side effect--------- understanding where someone is at------------ seeing their reality, seeing how sick they are, etc. is actually a sign that the medication IS working.  However, I have seen that some people can become depressed or emotional due to this awareness.  

Other ways to balence mood. We've talked about that working out thing---------  if this helps, please restart it.  It typically does.  Problem is that when we are "miserable" it is hard to get up and do it.  But you are looking for the after effect.  

Okay, don't think I am dumb but have you ever considered volunteering somewhere?  I see this as good for you in a couple of ways.  It puts you with people and being with people------------  anyone------ is practicing your social skills.  Looking for ways to interact is important for you and this gives you a "job" to do so the interaction would be easier than just a strictly social occasion.  Secondly, can't explain why but volunteering is healing emotionally.  So think of something you can volunteer at.   Homeless shelters, animal shelters, children's wing of a hospital (maybe teaching guitar), habitat for humanity, community development, etc.  

And I asked about your family because I'm wondering what kind of support you have.
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