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Social Anxiety?

I'm not sure if I'm suffering from any kind of anxiety or It's just my personality. I'll explain it the best I can:

Around my friends I am very bubbly and very happy. I can have endless conversations with people whether we are in a big group or just the two of us. However, a lot of the time when I am around people I don't know I get really anxious. I get the feeling that people are looking at me in a strange way. I find it really hard to talk to people and tend to shrink into the background. I would have though that I was just shy, but I feel hot and shakey all over with heart flutters, and I get a painful lump in my throat that makes it hard to breathe or speak. I also get chest pains and a feeling like my head is being squashed, and sometimes a pulsing feeling and burning eyes.
I find that this happens a lot in my lectures at university. I'm fine when I can just sit down but when it looks like our lecturer is going to single somebody out it makes me feel really sick and if I'm asked a question then I find it really hard to answer, even if I know it. The best way I can think to describe the feeling is a bit like when you close your eyes on a swing.
I also feel like this when I have to go out in public by myself. I can't go on buses so I find myself choosing hours of walking rather than using public transport. I can't go in a shop if there are only a couple of people in there, but I also can't go in if it's crowded. I can feel myself burning up and shaking if somebody comes near me. A lot of the time I pull my hair or scratch at my neck or arms when I'm nervous, sometimes causing myself to bleed. I often have marks on my arms that look like I have scratched them on a brick wall.
I also occasionally have strong anxiety attacks. When this happens I tend to go stiff, my knees bend and I hold my arms up to my face with my fingers clenched like claws. It kind of feels like if I tense up any more then my joints would rip out of my skin. I also cry and wail (not scream). I rarely have these around people, but my boyfriend has had the joy of this quite a few times and has found that putting a hand on my chest and getting me to take deep breathes usually calms me down. These attacks are usually spontaneous, something quite small can get me really worked up. So I nice surprise for me ;)
As I said, some times I am absolutely fine and people would be surprised to read this. Maybe it's just me but maybe it's something more, I really don't know.
Thank you so much for reading this!
2 Responses
968908 tn?1274874715
Hi,

By what you have wrote it sounds very much like you have anxiety issues.  It sounds far more than just being shy.  
I would recommend going to see your doctor and explaining,as you have here,the torment you face on a daily basis.  I personally would ask for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which will teach you how to respond differently to these situations and manage your anxiety better.  If you can,try not to go down the medication route.  In my opinion you should try several other options first such as therapy, meditations, relaxation, DIET, supplements etc...  Also to help you feel calmer go to your local health food store and have a look for calming agents such as Valerian, camomile, Hops, passion flower.  They may have tablets that have a combination of these herbs to compliment eachother, which will help to chill you.

Also seeing as you have spontaneous anxiety attacks you should also get a full check up from your doctor, he/she will probably do a full blood panel workup to make sure your fine, things such as an overactive Thyroid can cause anxiety, nervousness, panic attacks.

Vitamin Deficiencies can cause anxiety and panic attacks too, being low in EFA (essential fatty acids) like Omega 3 will do the same.  So you may want to get the advice from a nutritionist and get some tests done to determine where your deficiency lies.... There is a condtion called Pyroluria which stops the body from absorbing vitamin B6 and Zinc,  this condtion can go undetected for an entire life time so i would highly recommend googling and having a read up.  B6 and Zinc, when the body is low can cause anything from anxiety right through to Schizophrenia.

Well hope something in this post will help you manage your anxiety.... and all the luck to you.

Let me know how you get on and take care.x
Avatar universal
Hi, thanks so much for your reply!
I think that vitamin deficiencies sounds very likely, as I'm a university student so my diet isn't great. As of my last blood test I know that I am already low on iron, as my Mum, Aunt, and Grandma are all anaemic. So I will definitely look into what you have suggested.
Living in a student house I find it very hard to relax, a lot of the time it is hard to get a bit of quiet time by myself. I also live with my boyfriend so if I disappear to my room then he gets worried about me and won't leave me alone. So I will have a talk with him and see if I can get a bit more time by myself to relax.
I'm not too hot about going to see someone about this so I'm going to try the other things you have suggested first and see how it all goes.
Thanks again for your helpful reply! x
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