Social Anxiety and Phobia
This is a bit difficult for me to write about. I'm not entirely sure I want to post about it publicly, but at the same time, I also feel like I owe an apology to many of my friends for avoiding them or rejecting their invitations to things. I also feel a bit embarrassed to talk openly about it. I don't like acknowledging that I'm struggling with something, but I also know that I have friends who have had to deal with, or are currently dealing with, similar problems.
I thought I was just bad around people and enjoyed my own company. While both of these things probably remain true, within the past couple of weeks I began to acknowledge that I have a bigger issues than I thought, or wanted to think: social anxiety. I turn down pretty much every invitation to be social. Sometimes the guilt of declining an invitation outweighs the feelings of anxiety, and so I accept. Choosing between feeling guilty or experiencing mind-crushing, sweaty, anxiety is difficult. It has reached the point where I basically only go to three places - lovely comfortable and reassuring home, work, or Tesco, when it is quiet, and mostly out of necessity.
On Wednesday, I mustered up the confidence to go to the doctor, who turned out to be very nice and supportive. She prescribed me propranolol and gave me numbers for some counselling services in Nottingham for CBT. The propranolol is helping massively. I feel a lot better about accepting invitations and the thought of going somewhere. Maybe I can go on holiday this year. :) I can definitely feel the medication wearing off after the 7-8 hour mark, especially if I have made plans to do something, but the doctor said I should take two or three per day, depending on how I feel. This morning I applied for cognitive behavioural therapy - it'll probably take ages but we'll see.
Anyway, just to finish off, if you are feeling rough, have anxiety about something, feeling depressed, please go see a doctor. It is awkward to talk about, but it is easier than putting up with it.