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Posted 23rd July 2015 at 13:54 by indigo777

The worst SA attacks I ever had was when I was young(18-25) and around the opposite sex especially attractive girls. Some people call this love shyness I think although I had SA in many other areas of my life as well and with other people. The only place I came across girls was at work as I never went to college, university or nightclubs as I had no friends. I can’t really describe an anxiety attack at its worst but it was similar to when I have had something terrible happen in my life like a near death experience. It’s as if you opened a door and found a large tiger about to pounce on you or nearly getting run over by a car. My mind would blank, sweat pour off my head, I would stutter, lose control of my lower jaw and act extremely awkward and have an overwhelming urge to escape. (classic fight or flight I suppose).

The thing is even the most basic conversation would be close to impossible. This would make other people extremely awkward in my presence so they would avoid me in future, often disliking me. Of course I would do anything to avoid this and so avoid them in future also. This is why it’s so hard to get past if your SA is this severe as its not simply a matter of feeling the fear and doing it anyway as when you do try you completely fall to pieces and then become even more avoidant. You don’t get used to it as claimed as every time it happens you feel traumatised afresh. As a result of this I never went on a date, ever. I never came close. If a female smiled at me (very rarely!) I would then avoid her in future as if I spoke she would then realise how mad I was or even worse I would have a full blown SA attack. There was also a problem with conversational skills as I never left the house or did anything apart from watch TV so could never imagine a single thing to say. Some people just assume that once you start speaking to a girl conversation will flow naturally as if you must have a fantastic personality underneath and its only shyness and you not trying hard enough holding you back. Balls. Lots of people with SA are socially inept and as miserable as hell so are awful company even if they did speak.

The biggest problem I have is that so much online advice is simply aimed at just forcing yourself to go somewhere, talk first and assuming you will get better if you keep doing it. This is especially irritating when they insinuate you are just a coward for not doing so. It was hard enough just to stay employed for so many years without a mental breakdown let alone forcing myself to chat office girls up in the canteen on first sight. Let’s ignore the creepy weirdo factor which is what many shy awkward men are labelled as if they don’t look like Brad Pitt or the vampire guy from Twilight. For some shyness and anxiety this feel the fear and do it anyway plan may well work but for chronic social anxiety I found it about as much use as dropping you in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and just assuming you will learn to swim ad hoc. I did loads of things over the years, going on day trips with people, cinema, weekly gym, squash, snooker but none of them really helped in the end as they were all with males and even getting to befriend any female was close to impossible as attractive females never spoke first ever and certainly never tried to make conversation with me.

I dont think it was just my shyness that put them off either. I think its hardwired into our DNA for men to chase women and for women to be submissive and expect the man to chat them up. Women dont have chat up lines for a reason, they dont need them.
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