OK, this is going to be lengthy - I could write a novel on all this, trust me, so sorry in advance.
I haven't been to see a Doctor -
(First I have to get on the phone and MAKE the appointment; then I have to get the guts up to actually go and sit there with other people; then I have to be able to get my problem across to the doctor - despite my loss of the ability to have a normal conversation around people I am not comfortable with and then all the thoughts I'd be having of whether he's laughing at me or thinking I am ridiculous or a hypochondriac etc, or whether he's taking me seriously at all and it will all be worth telling him in the first place - and THEN I'd probably be sent to see someone else and go through it all again or given tablets I don't know that I want to take or be told there is nothing wrong with me, I'm imagining it, go home.) *pant* Sorry, that was long-winded.
The idea of all scares me, and so I haven't been officially diagnosed or anything. I avoid going to the doctors unless absolutely necessary, like a hell of a lot of other social situations - but from what I have read on the internet, social anxiety - or something similar, but I'm hesitant to self-diagnose any further - is what has been plaguing me since, well, at least my teenage years.
I've put up with it for several years at least (not sure at what point my childhood shyness developed into something that keeps me from friends and a normal functioning life), but since I left school (I didn't graduate, I dropped out, and a good part of the reason was because I was failing in the classes that I had no friends in) I've found that I hardly see my friends, and the majority of the time I only communicate with them online. I also hate going out to do the shopping etc and mostly won't go out at all unless my partner comes along with me - that makes it a bit better.
I don't get panic attacks, but I can get very stressed out leading up to a social event and I'll often put things off because I don't want to face doing them. I have a 2 year old daughter who I feel misses out because of all this. For example, I don't take her to the park down the road to play, because I find it hard to stay put there for 2 minutes without getting the urge to run home and get away from all the people potentially watching me from their cars or houses and criticising me.
I started taking her to playgroup, accompanied by a friend - there was no way I would have started going alone! - and this pregnancy (I'm due to have a boy on the 7/7!!) has made soup out of brain and helped me to analyse social interactions that little bit less, helping me run in to a store and grab a couple of groceries rather than go hungry until my partner comes home... but with less than a week until bub comes I'm starting to worry about things going back to even refusal to do that
Anyway, just wondering if there is anyone else on these forums that suffers from similar? And if so, how have they coped? And how has it affected their family life as well? I mean, I know there is drugs and things like group-therapy to try (if the latter would even be available in my area) but that would mean getting out and about to start with, which is just hard. What things has anyone done that might help get the going-out and coping started? I'm really sick of this, and I know to have the best life for my children I need to DO something, but I just keep avoiding doing that something about it in the first place