Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 3

So Part 1 was contextual waffle and Part 2 was about telling my mum. Predictably, Part 3 will be about telling Dad.

Telling Dad started off awkward, progressing to mildly comedic, progressing to absolutely fine.

By the time I got round to talking to Dad, it had been two or three weeks since telling Mum. This was because at the end of the Christmas holidays, I hadn’t found a good opportunity to bring up the subject with him and reluctantly postponed it till my next visit home. So I came back for a weekend and it got to Sunday afternoon, a few hours before I would be getting on a train back to my university town again, and I still hadn’t attempted it. So I figured I’d have to give up looking for the perfect opportunity and just out with it. Continue reading “Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 3”

A Little Bit Shell-Shocked

So having been a real worry-guts all this term and feeling like anxiety came back to get me, I went back to counselling today. I finished it in June and everything was much better then, so I felt a bit sheepish about coming back now.

I saw the same person as before, so at least it wasn’t someone totally new. I was really nervous, which was the first time I’d really visibly shown this in a counselling session (before I was very good at keeping my cool even if I didn’t feel like it).

The long and the short of it was, I explained the situation and he thinks I don’t just have social anxiety but “Generalised Anxiety Disorder”. That seriously unnerved me; I haven’t done as much research into GAD but I have it established in my head as something that’s a pretty big deal that I really don’t want to have.

I had been quite proud of the way I could figure out what was going on by myself ages before asking a professional (I figured out I had social anxiety about 4 years previously) so it was espe Continue reading “A Little Bit Shell-Shocked”

Something I Realised

I just had a eureka moment while I was thinking about how my social anxiety developed. I already had detailed ideas about it but this feels like the last piece of puzzle.

So I’ve always been very much a peace-loving person. When I was little, people described me as the “peace-maker” among other kids. I never set out to cause controversy or offence but still somehow managed to do that (I’m on about getting bullied, which worked mostly on the level of social exclusion- ie: the bully turns the other person’s friendship group against them, they all make up, but then it happens again and the cycle repeats and repeats)

But I guess when you think of that kind of person you think of someone who’s unflappable and calm (At least I do). But I’m also the type of person that’s always been prone to worry and stressiness.

So maybe these two traits added together + experiences eventually produced social anxiety.

Because when I internalised the bad experiences I’d had with people, despite never trying to be provocative (I blamed myself for these things when I was like 12/13) , then maybe on a subconscious level I ended up paranoid about the way I could disturb the peace with people without even trying. So I got shy and anxious about speaking, fearing confrontation. And I basically conditioned myself to have these anxieties before I realised what I was doing.

I don’t know, it’s interesting isn’t it? I’m sure it starts differently for different people, but maybe some people can relate to this. I don’t know what practical use I can really put this information to, except to urge people (esp. teachers) to take bullying seriously… Please don’t see it as something you can ignore because it’s just kids being silly or whatever, because the experiences they have now affect how they will operate when they get older.

Sorry that wasn’t meant to turn into a preach. I do so strongly feel this is important though.