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Extreme Shyness
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July 10, 2002, 10:33:38 PM
­ Hi MaryAnne,

I ran across your web page while searching for ways to gain more confidence on the internet.

As I entered high school last year, my self-confidence disappeared. I became extremely shy to the point where I am conscious of everything. I'm soo conscious of what people will think about me that I can't even walk comfortably when I'm in a room with other people that I don't know. I have to mentally break my walking down. One foot…Next foot… It's become extremely difficult for me to function as a person.

I used to always be a very talkative, class clown. Now it amazes me how people tell me that I am too quiet. To other people. I seem to have become a very quiet person. For some reason, it seems that I am always worried about what others will think. When I want to say something in conversation, I never have the confidence to say it and when I do, no one realizes that I've said anything. I always feel inadequate or like I am not worthy of anything. My low self-confidence is awful. It limits me more than anything. It makes daily activities almost impossible.

Is it possible that I have a form of Depression or Social Anxiety Disorder? I certainly seem to fit the symptoms. Looking forward to any response,

Rich

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July 13, 2002, 08:22:05 PM
#1
­ Rich:

I first want you to know that the most letters I get about any kind of problem is about shyness. You are definitely not alone. It seems to be more prevalent in males than females. They all also have it hit them when they get into high school. So there are many correlation’s that mean something. I am going to work on this as I am into scientific studies. Since it is such a paralyzing problem I am going to find an answer. Because right now there isn’t a “cure.”. But you can work your way “through” it and come out on the other side building your self confidence from there. I know we give medication for it but that just covers it up it does not fix the problem if you know what I mean. But it is good until you work through the issues. So you may want to consider that just so you don’t have to feel all the apprehension that you do for months as you work through what is going on and why. Then I would suggest a group therapy that will help you work through your issues so over time you work your way out of this. They would put you in a group for shyness or related subjects and you would be surrounded by people who care and are your age or going through similar feelings. This feels awfully good. You have each other for support and link up so you have people to turn to outside the group. I mean if you worked with people who cared and understood you would be able to figure this whole thing out and then get on with your life. The longer you let it go on the more you are going to retreat into your shell and become more and more introverted. The longer you let yourself stay this way the longer it will take you to work out of it. Since it just started with high school there is most likely a very big correlation between moving from a safe, less competitive environment to a larger, more threatening and very uncertain environment. Once you felt the fears that go with what is called a “Social Phobia” if you must label it. We don’t label much in Psychiatry anymore. We found there are no black and white problems. So we deal in symptoms. But once you felt the fears that go with it you then re-induce them automatically now on your own. It is the self-fulfilling prophecy. The exact same thing happens with panic attacks. Once you have one, well the fear of having another brings the next one on. If you are in a group with others and find out that there are no real fears and work out the fears that you have built up in your self you will be able to shed them and be yourself again. It all comes under “fears” most emotional problems well no, all emotional problems come from fears imagined or real they are all the same. If you feel you are being assaulted there is no difference in those feelings than those feelings of a person being assaulted. That might be the best way for you to go. Contact a Psychiatric Hospital with an adolescent program or the County Mental Health Center and ask about group therapies for teens in the area. Or call that “ask a Nurse” in your area and ask about a group on shyness. If there isn’t one well, I don’t know about you but me for all my fears that I have gotten over I took them on. I was not about to live my life like that. Panicking over every little thing that my mind decided it didn’t want to deal with. So if there was no group I would call every Social Worker in the phone book and ask one of them to start a group on Shyness. Tell them you will help them put it together. I guarantee you will have plenty of takers. As I told you I get letters almost every day asking me how do you get over shyness. I thought about starting a group on here for shyness since there were so many teens who were feeling that way. It is actually paralyzing everyone’s life. What kind of high school memories is that going to make if you don’t get this shyness dealt with? Believe me the Social Worker will do it, they can charge $25.00 per person for the whole group time. You would start what is called a closed group meaning everyone goes in together and no more can come in later. Each person pays $25.00 no more, maybe less, about 20 people no more than that well up to 25 since everyone is shy. It isn’t like 25 people are going to be talking all at once. So the Social Worker will not be wasting their time. But Rich those are the ways to go about tackling and overcoming this terrible handicap that comes out of no where and takes someone’s personality and puts them in a state of fear. You must do something about it because it isn’t you, never was you and we want you back OK? If all else fails try one on one therapy at your local mental health center and work it out. And then Rich if you can’t find anyone to help you, come back to me and we will do it together. So no matter what you have a solution Rich. Go for it but don’t just leave it alone it only gets worse. I have conquered my fears I know. Let me know what you decide to do and what you end up doing.
I am here for you and if you need anymore help or guidance write me and I will tell you if I know and if I don’t I will find the answer for you.
MaryAnne

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Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.