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Do I Have Social Anxiety

by James
(Doha, Qatar)

I am very talkative with my friends and I am also the one to make everybody laugh. I feel relaxed and comfortable when I go out with friends I know very well and I can be myself with them. I am always the funny one in my friend circle but when I am without my friends I feel VERY nervous around people (I start sweating, get shaky and stuff). Whenever I am alone (without my friends around me) I try to avoid conversation with other people which is why I fail to make new friends. I am very social with my classmates and have no problem reading out loud or answering any questions that the professor ask's me.

Although I do get nervous during public speaking or even speaking about a topic in front of the class. I like to be around and hangout with the friends I already have but without them I feel very nervous in social gatherings or events like that filled with people I don't know. I get all shaky and sweaty while talking to strangers but with friends around I am fine with strangers. I even feel nervous to talk to the KFC guy when my friends are not around :( I start sweating and speak in a low voice. Do I have social anxiety?

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by: Shareen

It's completely normal to feel more at ease and confident around close friends, as they create a comfortable and familiar environment for you. It's also common to feel nervous or anxious around people you don't know well, especially in situations where you're not sure how they might perceive you.

From your description, it's possible that you may be experiencing some symptoms of social anxiety, also known as social phobia. Social anxiety often involves feelings of nervousness, sweating, shakiness, and discomfort in social situations where there's a perceived potential for judgment or scrutiny. Your ability to engage confidently with friends but feeling anxious around strangers might be indicative of this.

However, it's important to note that a definitive diagnosis should ideally be made by a qualified mental health professional after a comprehensive assessment. Social anxiety is a common condition, and if it's causing distress or interfering with your ability to engage in social activities or make new connections, seeking support is a positive step.

Here are a few things you might consider:

Self-Compassion: It's important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that social anxiety is a common experience. Many people feel nervous in certain social situations.

Seek Professional Guidance: If your anxiety is impacting your daily life, seeking help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety disorders can provide you with tools and strategies to manage and overcome your symptoms.

Gradual Exposure: Exposure to situations that make you anxious, while done gradually and with support, can help desensitize you to those feelings over time.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage feelings of anxiety.

Supportive Friends: Communicating with your friends about how you feel can help them understand your experiences and provide additional support when needed.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and many effective treatments are available for social anxiety. A mental health professional can work with you to develop a personalized plan to help you navigate social situations with more ease and confidence.

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