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  #1  
Old 11th November 2017, 02:40
choirgirl choirgirl is offline
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Default What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Just that.

For me it's partly having an extra nervy nervous system but I don't know what set it off. Once it got going, it really kept going.
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  #2  
Old 11th November 2017, 10:50
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Chronic blushing and selective mutism. It probably started to develop when I was about 13 or so and it got increasingly worse. I gradually lost all my friends through avoidance. I've been rubbish at making friends ever since and my social skills are 0 as a result of it all.

The chronic blushing has settled over time and I only blush when people would usually blush e.g. around people that I'm fond of.
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  #3  
Old 11th November 2017, 11:06
anxiouslondoner anxiouslondoner is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I was bullied at school for being an intelligent wierdo. Even some teachers would pick on me. I was moved up a year but still found most lessons easy and boring so hated it.
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  #4  
Old 11th November 2017, 18:31
silenus silenus is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Years and years of social failure and rejection due to a fundamental inability to communicate like a normal human being. I haven't always been anxious but I have always been socially incompetent.
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  #5  
Old 11th November 2017, 19:25
humphrey humphrey is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Mine started at about 9, but come to think of it, I still had moments even when I was younger. I think it is just how I am wired.
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  #6  
Old 11th November 2017, 19:39
BritishPeace BritishPeace is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Being abused by my family.
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  #7  
Old 11th November 2017, 19:45
firemonkey firemonkey is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Bullying and peer group rejection. Before that I was introverted,shy, very much into solitary activities and struggled to make friends.
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  #8  
Old 13th November 2017, 23:41
Danica Danica is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregarious_introvert
Years of bullying at school followed by complete social rejection afterwards made me feel victimised until I realised that I had Asperger's and then researched how others saw me.
^This.

Until I started school I wasn't socially anxious at all, quite the opposite in fact. I was guileless and never intentionally naughty, but my behaviour was incredibly bizarre and often inappropriate. I was only ever around adults then and they generally thought I was fun and sweet. Most children become aware of how to act around others once they start school - they understand that they need to conform in order to 'fit in' but I didn't think about that, I just wanted to be 'me'.

Sure, I'd sit nicely and was polite, but I was always misinterpreting what the teacher was saying and my peers quickly realised that I was 'different' and either ignored me (which can be a form of bullying) or made me a target.

I was always bullied by girls, so it was mostly psychological - name calling, gas lighting etc. It happened every day for years. They'd sometimes go into other children's bags and steal their things and then put the stolen items in my desk, and I'd get into trouble. The girls were 'popular' and charm personified so it was their word against mine, and because I was the outsider, I was never believed. Occasionally it would become physical and they'd sometimes hit me, pull my hair or tie me up with skipping ropes. If I retaliated I'd always get the blame so I just had to put up with it.

As time went on I managed to make myself 'invisible' so by the time I started secondary school I wasn't really on the radar. I was mostly ignored though I did make a few friends. My parents divorced around that time, and that was a good thing because my father could be violent. It was mostly my poor mother who bore the brunt of that and she'd try to protect me, but that wasn't always possible. It was after one paticularly awful incident (which I won't go into) that she finally decided to leave him. In those days - 1980s/early 90s, domestic violence wasn't discussed, and the general consensus was 'put up and shut up' and keep it private. My father isn't really a bad guy though - there were fun times too.

So... Those are the things that caused my social anxiety.
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  #9  
Old 13th November 2017, 23:50
Danica Danica is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anxiouslondoner
Even some teachers would pick on me.
That happened to me too. Sometimes they'd instigate the bullying which made things worse because it would only encourage my peers to do the same.
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  #10  
Old 14th November 2017, 13:02
Hylian Hylian is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I still have no idea why I'm so messed up. When I was at uni I had an external assessment (which concluded I wasn't worthy of help) and the guy asked me twice if I had been sexually abused as a child, which I wasn't.
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  #11  
Old 14th November 2017, 13:06
Hylian Hylian is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Oh, as for teachers picking on me:

I am a short guy (5'8.5'' woe is me etc) but when I was in primary school i was a very short kid. A teacher I had realised that I was exactly 1 metre tall and decided to pick me up sideways in front of the class to simulate using me as a metre ruler. Haha. Hilarious.

Not that I hold grudges or anything.
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  #12  
Old 14th November 2017, 14:24
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

^^ If a teacher did that now they'd be prosecuted for physical abuse!
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  #13  
Old 14th November 2017, 18:22
Sphinx Sphinx is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I think it's really horrible that some teachers take part in the bullying, really disgusting they should know better.

I've always been a naturally shy quiet person, apparently even as a baby I rarely cried!

The SA started in secondary school, I was rejected by my friendship group for not being into boys when I was 12, and called a lesbian. *Rolls eyes.

I stopped being friends with these people and did find a few nice friends, but I was never popular so got picked on a lot. Everything was always really chaotic at school, it was a bit rough so I felt on edge all of the time.

I was kicked, pushed down the stairs, pinned to the wall with a chair, had a coin lobbed off my head (came up in a massive lump), football booted at my face, snowball chucked in my eye which turned my eyelid inside out and scratched my eyeball! Then the verbal stuff.. being called a dog, freak etc.

That all sounds really horrible written down like that, it wasn't even the same people that did these things to me, it was just random people deciding to pick on me. There were some kids that had it a lot worse and I remember at the time feeling lucky

Then a lot of family members died or got ill which was stressful. By the time I left school I didn't have any confidence and felt ill-equipped to deal with being an adult. Not surprising really.
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  #14  
Old 14th November 2017, 23:23
A Whimsical Stranger A Whimsical Stranger is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Being a **** up since the day I was born.
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  #15  
Old 14th November 2017, 23:26
Clementine Clementine is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

^ snap.
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  #16  
Old 14th November 2017, 23:30
jinny jinny is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legion
Oh, as for teachers picking on me:

I am a short guy (5'8.5'' woe is me etc) but when I was in primary school i was a very short kid. A teacher I had realised that I was exactly 1 metre tall and decided to pick me up sideways in front of the class to simulate using me as a metre ruler. Haha. Hilarious.

Not that I hold grudges or anything.
That's not short. I have been bullied for being tall (recently) as a woman & I am 5'6 & a half, so if I am tall, you're still taller than me.
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  #17  
Old 14th November 2017, 23:33
jinny jinny is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Poor, neglectful unloving and critical parenting.
Bullied by my sister
Bullied at school
Drugs
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  #18  
Old 15th November 2017, 12:56
Hayman Hayman is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I can explain mine quite easily…

I was diagnosed with having Rheumatoid Arthritis at an early age. As a result, I couldn’t really hang out with the few friends I had in Primary School 'after hours' – so my early social skills never really developed. They would be out of their bikes, climbing trees e.t.c… and these were things I couldn't physically do at that time. So, in a way I was on the 'back foot' more or less from day one.

I was always playing 'catch up' during my school years and it drained me. Getting towards Junior school I noticed there was a gap forming and by now, fellow pupils were looking at me differently and actively avoiding me because I had so few friends. It was around this time the jokes about me started making themselves known.

By high school there was a large gap between me and others of my own age because I was now becoming too scared to mix because the amount of jokes were increasing, false assumptions being made and the first signs of stigmatisms being openly held against me. By the age of 16 – the gap was enormous. They'd hang around in the playgrounds and materialise new friends. I'd do the same thing and…I would be questioned and laughed at. I was effectively being pushed away. By the age of 20, I had basically given up trying to make the effort and was finally diagnosed with depression.

Fast forward more than a decade and now I'm looked at like I'm a child. The gap has turned into a gulf in just about every single possible way. Other people progress – I get left behind. I'm heavily stigmatised, often humiliated by many people I work with over my lifetime without a relationship issue, insulted and often made to feel three inches tall in social events that has taken me a lot of effort and courage to attend in the first place because I know exactly how it’s going to go even before I've set foot out of the door. The term 'lamb going to slaughter' always comes to mind.

The efforts I've made (not to mention a great deal of money spent along the way) have not changed anything in my life which in turn, just makes the whole situation seem even more hopeless. People don't see my effort but see my failure…and in turn presume no effort has been made – and then blame me for everything. That, in turn, makes me feel even lower than I already do and even less willing to socialise as they haven't seen what I have done only to not get anywhere…

It's a lifelong, catch-22 situation…
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  #19  
Old 15th November 2017, 14:01
silenus silenus is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

^ That doesn't sound like a lifelong situation to me. It sounds more like you are surrounded by juvenile idiots. I expect sooner or later your situation will change, or at the very least you will just stop caring about what other people think of you.
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  #20  
Old 15th November 2017, 15:40
Purplesnarf Purplesnarf is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

A mixture of things which has already been talked about in this thread,

Probably genetics towards anxiety, BPD and I'm wondering also a touch of aspergers.
Selective mutism especially at primary age and quite bad blushing in teens up till a few years ago.
Being bullied at school,
Some of the way I was parented.
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  #21  
Old 15th November 2017, 16:13
Hayman Hayman is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
^ That doesn't sound like a lifelong situation to me. It sounds more like you are surrounded by juvenile idiots. I expect sooner or later your situation will change, or at the very least you will just stop caring about what other people think of you.
I sincerely hope so, but given the first 32 years of my life have been lived this way, I don't think anyone out there of reasonable mind can question me for having my doubts or feeling the way I do!

True - I've spent large portions of my life with people who have shown themselves to highly critical and judgmental idiots. Actions, comments and beliefs from them which have only greatly contributed to my downfall which very few understand and/or willing to accept that particular viewpoint. This is why I say I feel at my 'best' when I'm alone - which isn't really the answer.

I do live in hope that things one day will change. I've accepted it's too late for me to turn my life around simply because so much time has already been lost. I would be quite happy if I could simply be respected as a man, rather than a child...and that the efforts I've made to be acknowledged and that they simply haven't worked out for me. I no longer want to feel like an idiot or 'small' simply because the end results of my own efforts have been a world away from identical efforts made by most others. Whilst I know it doesn't change anything or make me a happy person - it would at least help me deal with Social Anxiety knowing that I'm not being looked 'down' upon, by default, for not achieving 'A', 'B', 'C' e.t.c...

One day...just one day I might be able to witness this and that's basically what I live for. I could give specific examples of what I'd like to realistically see but I really could rattle on all afternoon about that...!

I stopped caring what people said about me when I was on Fluoxetine several years ago, but sadly the doctors no longer want to prescribe to me the only thing that has had genuine positive effects on me... Go figure... It didn't change any of the anxiety or depression triggering events that surround me by any means, but it certainly made me care considerably less about what I face from other people.
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  #22  
Old 15th November 2017, 16:53
Alf in Pog Form Alf in Pog Form is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I was always quiet as a kid. Even as a baby, my mum has told me how she had to keep taking me to the doctors. She thought I was ill/crazy because I didn't make any noise lol.

But the real reason was bad acne. Around about 16/17 my face became a sea of oil and puss. Confidence was completely gone. Couldn't look people in the eye. Embarrassed to be seen etc. It took many years for it to sort itself out. I was a immature and shy teenager as it was. Probably overly sheltered too.

I think I'm a lot more social than I sometimes think I am, but what happened back then was a just a perfect storm to have crippled me.
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  #23  
Old 15th November 2017, 20:56
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legion
Oh, as for teachers picking on me:

I am a short guy (5'8.5'' woe is me etc) but when I was in primary school i was a very short kid. A teacher I had realised that I was exactly 1 metre tall and decided to pick me up sideways in front of the class to simulate using me as a metre ruler. Haha. Hilarious.

Not that I hold grudges or anything.
:O!

They did WHAT?!

Maybe we should pick them up sideways and use them to measure the blackboard.

"Oh, look... the blackboard is one and a half pricks long."
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  #24  
Old 15th November 2017, 21:08
Lolo36 Lolo36 is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

i don't really know for sure what caused my SA. I was shy as a child, and during my teens it gradually twisted into SA. i remember at 15 my friends started to ignore me and cut me out, because the SA made me clam up. I still don't know why I have SA. Nothing traumatic happened to me, I was just shy, fast forward to 17, and I've got no friends, no job, just sitting or sleeping in my room all day. i think a lot of my anxiety comes from low self esteem, but where the low self esteem comes from, i don't know. i was never bullied or abused, I was self conscious about my looks as a teen, but isn't everyone? my dad has been on meds for anxiety and depression for years, so i'm probably predisposed
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  #25  
Old 15th November 2017, 22:57
wd40mk17.4 wd40mk17.4 is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Always had bpd. Was undeniably weird. Became isolated. Did drugs. Events occurred, got ptsd, became isolated. Got older, got slightly better, thicker skin. Still isolated. Ingrained Pavlovian responses to human contact, despite a somewhat more positive outlook.
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  #26  
Old 15th November 2017, 23:27
snoo snoo is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Sounds like a stupid answer but I think anxiety caused social anxiety.

I started to get anxious in situations, usually outside and in the daytime, strangely enough. That kind of led to an avoidance of these same situations with people, for fear of being an embarrassment or if an anxiety attack popped up.

I actually think I've got worse over the years, it is like any bad habit. Trying to climb out of it is difficult, and the worst part is part of my brain doesn't want to, as it ties back into not wanting to embarrass myself in case I did have anxiety in public
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  #27  
Old 16th November 2017, 02:30
Muggins Muggins is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

I was always a very shy, sensitive child.

I used to wonder if the way I was was partly down to genetics but since recently finding out some information about my birth family I’m not so sure anymore - they couldn't be more different than me

I did receive a lot of criticism from adoptive family members while I was growing up. I never felt good enough and my self loathing started pretty young. A friend of the family said she wouldn’t put up with her child being as shy as me and that I needed a good hiding. Like that was ever going to boost a child's self esteem!

At the age of 13/14 I went from being a shy, almost mute child at school, to an extremely anxious one too. I’d blush regularly in class and would tremble a lot. Such noticeable symptoms are especially embarrassing for a self conscious teenager and it all became a never ending circle. I’d blush, I’d feel embarrassed, and so I blushed some more.

I had very few friends and certainly not close ones. My best friend used to threaten to squirt hairspray into my eyes if I upset her and she’d often put me down about being adopted.

But that’s all in the past and dwelling on it doesn’t change anything. Nobody is to blame for me developing SA, not even me, it just is what it is.

Please don’t quote
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  #28  
Old 16th November 2017, 15:30
jinny jinny is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

^ I am starting to believe that some people have a much more sensitive nervous/endocrine system and that the hormones produced through our flight/fight response set off really easily. I think the opposite kind of person, with a very underactive response system is the kind of person who thrill seeks, because they get very little adrenalin in normal life.

I'm thinking this might be worth looking into, but I'm no scientist

For what it's worth though I think I might change the name of my condition from Social Anxiety Disorder, which I don't like, to something like Global Hypersympathoadrenal Syndrome. Poor me

@Muggins

There is a little girl where I work who is very shy, I can see how clumsily some adults try to bully her 'out of' it, which of course makes it worse, because she is shy, not stupid and drawing attention to her difficulties just makes them worse. So far I've heard a teacher say really loud to her "You're not really shy!! You're just teasing me!" There seems to be an expectation that she should just snap out of it. I wish people would leave her alone, all she needs is a little bit of sympathetic understanding and support to build up her social confidence.
Your friend sounds like she liked the power balance between you. My best friend was also like that, she liked to be the one with the stronger personality and to know I was quite weak. As we got older and started going out she'd quite often humiliate me for fun. She had her own issues.
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  #29  
Old 16th November 2017, 15:57
Hylian Hylian is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vienna
5'8 isn't that short ^
5'8'' is bordering on catastrophically short for a man. People have accused me of being overly dramatic, but I consider it to be a mild disability.
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  #30  
Old 16th November 2017, 16:11
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: What do you think caused your social anxiety?

^^ You might be interested to read a book called Quiet by Susan Cain, it's about introversion (which is obviously different from having an anxiety disorder) but they have done studies that show that some people are highly reactive and other people don't react much at all to stressful things. They can identify these traits in babies. I'm probably not explaining very well but it's all in the book lol.
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