I am a newbie from Oz, thought I would introduce myself and give you a summary of me and my phobia.
I have never been diagnosed as such but I know that I am a sufferer of social phobia, anxiety and panic attacks. This has been my whole life although in recent years it seems to be at its worst!
I woke up one day recently and decided that I didn't want social phobia to define who I am anymore, because that is what I felt like all I was, my anxiety, panic attacks and social phobia and nothing else. I don't know why I have not tried to seek help or to start researching and trying to make myself better sooner, but better late than never, so here I am trying to learn more and gain support from others in similar situations.
I was sick of changing jobs so often, not because I was useless but because I had to leave because people thought I was shy, nervous, stupid, weird, this was my perception of what they thought not theirs mind you! Working in jobs that I didn't like and didn't challenge me because I was so scared of failing and taking on more responsiblity and that would mean dealing with more people, faking illnesses to get out of a social event at work, family even meeting up with close friends with other people around that I didn't know weeks in advance, getting up feeling sick about seeing and dealing with people at work, going home and thinking about the next day at work, vicious cycle! What's strange is that I actually like people and can sometimes be very social around people I am 100% comfortable with (there are times I still get nervous even around close friends and family) so it is incredibly frustrating having this phobia with people that I don't know! Does that make sense, it is getting late!
Anyhow that's me in a nutshell, wish me luck on my journey of gaining self esteem, confidence and a real sense of self, blah blah ;-)
Take care, Bee Bee