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Author Topic: help me...please!
tidalwave
Neophyte
Member # 45184

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i apoligize in advance for the long post...

first off i have a bad case of S.A.D (social anxiety disorder), it started 2 years ago when i was 15 and has gotten progressively worse. i am getting therapy but these things take time, there is no quick fix for it!

as my disorder has progressed i have found it harder and harder to 'socialize' and be close with people. i find relationships to be out of reach as i can't be involved or talk to anyone i am attracted to or have feelings for as i get too anxious for me to handle.

now onto the guy of this particular problem...
i just finished high school this year with our graduation only a few weeks ago. we have been in the same year but have never really talked. just before end year exams started we started talking. exams and study meant we couldn't see one another so we just texted each other. during this time i started to have feelings for him and i would be getting anxiety attacks just thinking about him or if i got a text from him (quite pathetic).

i saw him at graduation and i was not at my finest (lots of people and having photo's taken, walking on stage etc...AHHH), i had taken medication that was given to me to get through exams and it made me really calm. we had a little chat and i wasn't really myself because i was totally calm due to the drugs, i don't think he noticed though.

we continued texting and he started flirting and dropping subtle hints about us. i found it very hard to deal with and was getting panic attacks everytime my phone went off.


i went over to his house last week after an appointment (breathing therapy...helped me stay calm for about an hour) and we watched a movie and went for a drive to one of his favourite places. i was fine watching the movie, then he started moving closer and i started to feel really anxious. we went out to his 'favourite place' which was a train tracks and a sea view. he kept holding my hand and putting his arms around me. i was trying very hard not to hyperventilate or shake. he didn't try anything when i didn't return his advances. there were a few moments when his face was so close to mine and i was keeping my face to the ground to cope with it. i have never been a touchy feely person so this was extremely hard to take and not jump and runaway [Razz]

all this happened and then we were back at his and i don't know if he was hurt that i didn't return anything as he was acting a littl odd. he was still nice but there was something wrong?

i went home and then had a prolonged anxiety attack for 5 days after. wasn't nice at all.

he is away at a music festival and i feel so much calmer knowing there is no chance i will see him or get a text from him. i feel so horrid because isn't it wrong to think like this of someone who has mutual feelings for you?? people who know him have never seen him act like he does around me so are saying he really likes me...but i am wishing he didn't [Frown] !!!!

i don't know if i can cope seeing him again, the thought makes me feel sick. i have no idea how to approach this at all. he knows i have an anxiety disorder but i don't think he really understands the full extent of it. he is very confident and has a slight 'ego trip' when around some people (i haven't seen it though).

ontop of this he is moving oversea's in two months.....i don't know what to do!!!!!!

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

Posts: 16 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hi tidalwave, welcome to Scarleteen! [Smile]

I'm sorry to hear that anxiety is making is so hard for you to connect with someone you like so much! It all sounds really difficult. I'm glad you're in therapy for this and I think that's the most helpful thing long-term even if, as you said, you'd like something more in the short-term.

Your well-being should come first and if being with him, even if you really really wanted it to work out, made/makes you feel this way, then it'd pretty understand that you'd rather not see him again even if you like him a lot. I think it'd be better to give yourself some distance, at least for now.

How about writing him a note telling him that you do really do like him but that your anxiety disorder has been making it really hard, probably much harder than he thinks, to deal with this right now. There's really nothing wrong with honestly; in fact, when you both care about each other, then it's the best way to go.

After that, I'd talk to your therapist for her/his advice. They know you very well and can give you the best feedback in terms of strategy and insight. If you don't have an appointment in the next week or two, how about calling to schedule one? You can explain how you had a really bad anxiety attack recently, have been having trouble coping, and would like to come in. I could speculate why it's hard and what you could do; however, when we're talking about a diagnosed anxiety disorder and when you're already in treatment, the professional route is definitely the way to go. (And, honestly, I think we could probably all benefit from professional feedback at least occasionally, so please don't feel this is a push away at all!)

I'm also going to share some articles with you that you may find helpful. A lot of these are about sex but you can apply what they're saying even to a currently non-sexual relationship.
No Big Deal: Sex & Disability
Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
Potholes & Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For
Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
Potholes & Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For

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tidalwave
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thanks Lena for your reply, was very helpful. I read the articles and found the 'Sex and Disability' one really nice, made me feel like i wasn't alone in this.

the note idea is tempting but i just don't know how to word 'i really like you but the thought of you makes me feel like 'death reheated'' so to speak.

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

Posts: 16 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hi Tidalwave, I'm glad you found the articles helpful. "Sex and Disability" is one of my personal favorites at the site because it shows that while certain things may present what seem like more challenges, we really are quite the same when it comes to all being sexual beings with different desires and interests and challenges.

As for the note, why not say basically that? I'm not big on brevity myself [Wink] but mindful honesty generally is pretty good. How about "I really like you but, due to my anxiety disorder, I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed in a way that is hard to describe and harder to deal with. [And if you want to add it, something like...] Therefore, I would like some space but I'd also like to say that I do genuinely like and care for you. If and when I feel ready for continued contact in person, I will let you know. I hope you understand: I know you're moving in two months and this makes things hard in some ways but I also want to be honest with you. Thanks."

If that would work for you, you could send it. You could let him know if you'd be open to a response, because that would help him know how to best respond-- or not to. Then just see how you feel over time and please do make that appointment with your therapist a priority in the New Year because I want you to feel better, not just about this situation but in general! [Smile]

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tidalwave
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I am going to see him tomorrow at his house, hoping i get through it in one piece. i'll take a written note and if i can't tell him i will just give it to him.

i really hope he understands. i feel horrid, i thought you were supposed to be happy to be near those you have feelings for [Frown]

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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tidalwave, can I just check in with you a minute?

I know if often isn't easy to separate feelings from an anxiety disorder from your overall feelings, but you DO like this person, right? And feel ready for this kind of relationship? In other words, are you sure some of these feelings aren't because you either aren't really into this person, or don't feel ready for dating?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Aguyfromoz
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All of the below assumes you actually do really like the guy in question and you want to form a relationship with him; What do you feel about him when you are calm at night? Do you daydream and think about the boy a lot?

What do you think is the underlying cause of your anxiety? Body image? You really like this guy and you're afraid you're going to 'blow it' with him? fear of rejection? Or just plain lack of experience?

I would add to the above and write him an email/letter saying that you really do like him and to be patient if you don't seem to be responding positively to his advances.

May I ask what you're being prescribed on for anxiety? prozac? a beta blocker like atenolol?

In the meantime may I suggest some sensitisation exercises? In psychological circles this is called "systematic desensitization" and you can google "systematic desensitization" exercises for some suggestions. Here's one that looks good: http://www.csulb.edu/~tstevens/Desensit.htm

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tidalwave
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he makes me happy and understands me, we tell each other everything within reason which is new for me because i am a private person.

i don't know how i am suppsoed to feel 'ready' for dating, i still don't feel ready or comfortable going to the shops [Razz]

i think most of this extreme anxiety comes from all his attention on me, i often try to stay away from attention but he is always so interested in what i am talking about, asking me so many questions or wanting to hold my hand etc i can't escape it!

my parents won't let me take medication, they don't think i need it which is fustrating

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, you can escape that kind of attention if you don't feel ready to handle it and/or be clear with someone what does and doesn't work for you. In other words, it's your choice whether or not you enter into an intimate relationship and also your choice whether or not you talk to someone you're entering into one with to fill them in on what does and doesn't make you feel good.

What has your therapist said about all of this when you have talked to them? Have you discussed dating and managing close relationships?

As well, do they feel medication would help you? If so, have they talked about that with your parents?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67994 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tidalwave
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Member # 45184

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i've got therapy today, so will talk to them.
mum was there when i spoke to her about medication, and she said it shouldn't be used as a quick solution as it would only hide the physical symptoms not the mental ones.

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

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eryn_smiles
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Hi Tidalwave,

Hope your therapy went well today [Smile] .
Just wanted to direct you to a resource in case you aren't aware of it. The Phobic Trust of NZ helps out Kiwis with all kinds of anxiety disorders and has a 24 hour helpline as well. You can use it for general information/advice and finding out about local support groups but also in times of crisis, like if you're having a panic attack. Sounds like your parents don't have alot of understanding about Social Anxiety and it could be a useful education resource for them as well. Heres the link-
http://www.phobic.org.nz/

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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tidalwave
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hi, sorry have been so busy and have not had the chance to post in a while.
i have been referred to the phobic trust, thanks so much for putting me on to them!

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is that a light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?

Posts: 16 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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