Social anxiety is real! It falls under the umbrella of anxiety disorders and it can be debilitating. It runs on a spectrum from mild to severe. Anxiety medication does help to treat it with several having this specific indication for treatment. SSRI's for example work well for social anxiety. I have some of this and my son has it. I hate it!
One thing you can do in your control is WORK on those communication skills. Learning the art of conversation is very helpful. I also have learned to accept that no one knows what is going on inside of me. So, I can portray my outside differently than the anxiety felt on the inside. People love love love to feel heard and I've learned to be a very good listener. I ask questions, pay attention to their details and it warms people to me and that in itself makes me less anxious. :>)
Do you work? How old are you?
Ah, you are so young. Are your parents aware of your difficulties? It would be very helpful to get them on board and consider speaking to a psychologist/psychiatrist so that you can LIVE life with out this fear and anxiety. Avoiding people I'm sure makes you feel very isolated.
Don't worry about getting a job now--- I was just asking in case you are older. At 17, getting your mental health in tow is important so that you can get a job down the road when it is time (go to college, community school or trade school).
Have you talked to your parents about this? What do they say? Do you go to school and survive okay?
You say this isn't due to your thoughts, but isn't it? Your fears are your thoughts. Social anxiety though is a mental health disorder as a sub category of anxiety disorder. Treating your depression is a no brainer. This is done through the therapy you are doing for sure but also antidepressants. I'm not saying it is impossible but overdosing on an SSRI would probably be tough and is not a huge threat. That's one of the nice things about it compared to anti depressants in past decades. Anti anxiety medication like benzos are another story. But, you could take a medication long term for chronic depression that you describe. You need to be exercising, learning coping strategies like it is a school project you want an A on. Those include self soothing strategies like breathing techniques. Picture birthday candles . , . . suck in air and blow out the candles one at a time (the candles are fake, lol, but visualize), meditation, positive self talk and mantras, yoga, proper sleep and diet. All of this helps set up a better situation for yourself.
Try not to overanalyze yourself and be flexible and open to things like trying a different med, that this is indeed thought based, and that you can get better. Taking an antidepressant that has a social anxiety disorder indication may have a huge impact for you.
And more people understand than you think. This is not, to be honest, terribly uncommon. You may have a greater extent of social anxiety (and social anxiety IS also from social awkwardness and improving communication skills and social skills WiLL help--- I'm telling you, been through this myself and with my son)-- but you can overcome this.
CBD oil is actually usually made from industrial hemp, though you can get a variety that is made from the psychoactive marijuana plant. And the above is correct, it has shown to be effective in early studies with social anxiety. So much for that. Look, at your age, I wouldn't recommend medication or CBD oil if you can get better without it, as your brain won't be fully developed for a few years yet. But if you have to, you have to. It seems to be you do have a life, it isn't completely unliveable at this point, but some things you've said are not accurate, as Mom has already said. Anxiety is a thought. And you're thinking about it in the wrong way. CBT, for example, doesn't really care how you got to be the way you are, it just tries to change the way you think. Works for some, and not for others. It concerns me you say you haven't gotten a diagnosis -- if you're seeing a psychologist and not a social worker with a counseling degree, they are able to diagnose you. So is a psychiatrist, the docs who give out the meds, but they learn their psychology from psychologists generally. So again, any psychologist can make a diagnosis. So have you asked if there is one? The fact is, most psychologists don't talk diagnosis -- they just start in on whatever form of therapy they practice. Psychiatrist do give a diagnosis, but that's because the only thing they're going to do for you is give you a medication nowadays -- very few of them do therapy anymore because they can see more patients and make more money not doing it and because psychologists can do the same thing and charge less money and give you an extra 5 minutes of time to boot. But the diagnosis won't change what's going on, it will just put a label on it. You're problem is exactly as you've described it, whatever you want to call it. The other thing I'd like to know is what you mean by trauma. If something happened to you that you know caused this pattern to occur, then a talk therapist can work on that with you and hopefully help you to see how you got to where you are now and start making your way back to where you'd rather be. Most anxiety sufferers actually have no idea at all why they get so anxious, it just comes on. For that, CBT is recommended because you can spend years in talk therapy trying to find out why you are the way you are without getting any better. CBT is quick, though it has nothing near a guarantee of working. Think of therapy as an art form rather than a science -- nobody knows scientifically what causes some people to get depressed and anxious and others go through the same thing and don't. They're looking, but haven't yet found that answer. So finding the right therapist is very important, and you have to be willing to work really hard. I was a terrible patient in therapy. I don't know why, but I was. If, however, your life is spiraling out of control, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and go on meds. As mentioned, overdosing on antidepressants is really uncommon and very hard to do. But again, if social anxiety is the problem, I will repeat that the above post is actually right, CBD oil is becoming more and more accepted as a treatment for anxiety, especially social anxiety, and it doesn't get you high. It appears to affect serotonin but in a very different and more benign way than the more common antidepressants do. Lots of things to talk over with your therapist, but Mom is right, right, right, you are describing thoughts.
Don't let these posts scare you. :>) The world of psychiatric medicine is not the same everywhere and people share their solo opinion of how it is for them. Not that way for me and might not be that way for you so don't fear getting proper professional help. Social Anxiety is not an uncommon issue even though you may suffer to a greater extent than some. My fear is you will become house bound and that will not work! There, and I forgot about this, work books directed at teens on this subject. I got some for my son to do over the summer. They are written by psychologists and I got them on Amazon. You can search that up--- go to Amazon and put in social anxiety work book and you will get several by the same authors-- The anxiety workbook for teens, Shyness and Social Anxiety workbook for teens, Mindfulness for teens with anxiety, etc. They are practical and might help a little and something you can do at home without stress. Let me know what you think.
There are many good psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists out there but if you're not getting better you need to find a new one. Social anxiety is very common and there are many around you who have it but have forced themselves to go on. I feel it's a process, one step at a time. We all have fears we have to face at some time in our life but often have no choice but to face them. Take small steps. Start by knowing nobody is going to hurt you and start making eye contact with people, if just for a moment. The more you do this the easier it will get. Then move on to smiling when you pass someone, you may not get one back but so what? Often the person you say hi to is afraid like you and doesn't know how to react. Sometimes you will make someone's day because you noticed them and they realized that and that they do matter even to strangers. A smile can go a long way! Then work on saying "hi" to people, again you may not get one back but for every time you do this you will become more confident. Even the most famous people get nervous around others, but they don't have the choice to run away and have to face it. I do believe that something has made you afraid and I don't know what and maybe you don't either but you need to do everything in your power to break away from this fear so you can have a normal life. Not talking or making eye contact just makes you more noticeable to others, so you truly need to work on this. College is a great place to practice.. Don't worry that you may say something wrong because we all do! It's okay, and learn to laugh at yourself. I am in no way lessening the severity of your problem, I would just love to see you push beyond this and have the life you deserve. specialmom offers great advice and the books would be helpful to you. Think to yourself...what is the worst thing that can happen to you by being around people? Yes, your anxiety kicks in but trust me the more you push yourself to do what you fear most with time you will over come that fear and anxiety. The first time my son had to speak in front of a large crowd he was nervous, and I asked "do you know what all the other kids in the room are thinking" he replied "no". I said "they are glad it's you up there and not them! He did great! Because things like this scare us. I think you are smart and strong enough to tackle this anxiety head on and win! We're always here for you so feel free to talk to us. I wish you all the best and please keep us posted on your progress. Take care...
I agree with both, there is good and bad with all medications even supplements. If not for medication I know I wouldn't be here today so it was worth the risk for me. Not everyone has bad experiences with these type of medications, I have had none. I also don't think we should "scare" anyone away from taking them when it appears to be their only answer.