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Social Phobia

I am 31 years old and I complain that I don't have many friends yet I avoid social situations almost always. It's a toss up for me to decide which is worse, having no one to hang out with or to put myself into a social situation where I may meet new people.I take Paxil to get me thru regular day to day activities. I was in prison for most of my 20"s and getting out made my social phobia worse because I only knew how to socialize with inmates and correctional staff. How do I overcome this? My anxiety in social situations is so bad that I have very few friends cause my anxiety won't allow me to get out.
3 Responses
358304 tn?1409713092
Therapy would help LOTS! Especially while taking Paxil. The 2 combined have great outcomes! There's lots of people out there just like you, who have gotten therapy after being in prison for along time. It's hard to adjust.

Think about seeing a therapist or a psychologist. Good Luck. =)
Avatar universal
You're going to have to expose yourself to social situations and endure the anxiety. Over time, the anxiety will diminish. It will be very uncomfortable at first but this is one of the best ways to get over your social phobia. A therapist can help you through the process and explain everything to you along the way.

Do not let the anxiety take control of your life anymore. You don't have to live this way. You will get through this and taking the first step is the hardest. But it will be worth it in the end.
Avatar universal
Yeah, yeah, same problem.  I'm 20, in school, and jobless, so I can't exactly afford one of those therapist things.  I always google "Why am I afraid of people?", in hopes that I will find some magical answer or solution to my problem; I always find the same things: find therapist, talk more, blah blah.  I'm thinking I just lack social skills.  For most of my life I've been locked in my room playing video games, or what have you - only going out for school -  and then coming straight back home to do more of the same, so I guess I simply never developed all the social skills I should have.  

At this point I've really, REALLY, given up on the whole "indulge yourself with MOOR socialness!" idea:  I can start talking to someone, but in the end I had nothing to say in the first place that would result in the conversation's continuation, which thus results in an unwanted awkward social situation (how would repetition of this lead to results?).

How does this affect me?  Well, currently, I have guests downstairs that I actively avoiding.  I took a shower and got ready to meet them and everything, but I simply can't get/convince myself to walk down the stairs and say "hi", then go back up.  This is not the first time I've done this.  I've skipped dinner and starved myself in order to not have to interact with guests.  I'm not staying on campus because I can't stand to be around a roommate excessive lengths or time, especially talkative ones - I rather enjoy being alone and to myself, where I have all the time and the world, and, being unpressured, can actually think about things indepth:  if it were possible to live a life of solitude I would, but the simple fact is that you cannot live without providing for yourself, and providing for youself requires social interaction... unless you're lucky.  However, the it goes beyond that.  As "introverted" - or whatever you want to call it - as I am, I do still have goals that I wish to accomplish in my life that require social interaction, which is really the main reason why I care about this whole ordeal in the first place.

And here come to parents to pester me about not coming downstairs.  "You're not going to embarass me", "Name!", "NAME!", "NAME! Hurry up and come down!"  And the more time that goes on, and the more I hear them talk about me, and the more they pester me and call my name, the less I want to go downstairs.

I have no point, this is just my 2cents.
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