Social Anxiety

Dear Reader,

I know you shouldn’t diagnose yourself on the internet, but I have never been wrong about a diagnosis I have made about myself in the past. I diagnosed myself with depression before visiting a doctor. I diagnosed myself with dyslexia before being tested and I diagnosed myself with Aspergers before the assessment for that.

So I know that from my panic attacks and my recent avoidance of social situations that my social anxiety, or just my anxiety problems in general have got worse.

There’s a thing called the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, it’s like a test where you rate things moderately to severe. I did a similar test to this the first time I went to the doctors about my depression. On this test I scored 27 / 27 which means that I am severely depressed. So I decided to take the to the social anxiety test, and scored 99. Anything over 90 is considered severe, and a cause for concern. Fantastic! Something else to add to my ever-growing list of afflictions.

I said before, I have always had aspects of social anxiety, I don’t like groups, especially of people I don’t know, I don’t like parties, I don’t like being the center of attention, I don’t particularly enjoy socialising I find it incredibly exhausting, not because I’m not enjoying myself but I am very on edge and awkward and aware of how awkward I am. I don’t like talking to people I don’t really know, I’m not very good at making conversation never mind small talk and I don’t like being watched. The list goes on, and of course the nail in the coffin of this social anxiety is I have Aspergers! Aspergers syndrome is different to regular autism in that language skills and cognitive development aren’t affected. What is effected is social interaction and nonverbal communication. Which, as a “mild” sufferer, I am all too aware of having and all too aware of my lack of social skills. During my Aspergers test I discovered that I’m not really very good at reading people’s emotions. I was told to look at sets of eyes and say what emotion they are expressing, and out of 30 I got 5 correct. I generally thought the people whose eyes were expressing emotions that were positive were negative and because of that I often think people are being negative towards me when they actually aren’t.  Apparently I’m not as good at reading people as I thought.

The worst part is that this might not even be just a social anxiety problem, the likely hood is I have developed a general anxiety problem, but as the only things in my life I tend to worry about are leaving my house or talking to people I guess it’s masquerading as a social anxiety problem. But I’m sure my lack of social skills has made my anxiety 10 times worse than it could have been. I guess this is something I need to discuss with my doctor. But now I’m too scared to bring it up in case they think I’m crazy.

It really is exhausting being me sometimes.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room




One thought on “Social Anxiety

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