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emotional thunderstorm (1 Viewer)



An Emotional Thunderstorm

Social Anxiety Disorder has affected me in three primary ways. Prior to treatment there were times when I was unable to leave my house due to the fear of exposure to groups of people. Also, I experienced feelings of anxiety during interaction with people on an individual basis. Finally, when I did manage the bravado to enter into a social situation, I would spend subsequent hours, sometimes days, obsessing over minute details of my behavior. Now that I am in counseling and taking medication to treat this crippling disease, these symptoms have improved dramatically.
Before treatment, I remember days when I was barely able to find the will to get out of bed. It would be safer to stay put. This was primarily due to my fear of people, and I could be reasonably sure that no one would talk to me if I stayed wrapped in the comfort my covers. I felt so hopeless. Not only could I not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I was quite sure that the tunnel its self had collapsed. If I did manage to convince myself that I should try again, it was with great fear that I would prepare to confront the emotional thunderstorm that awaited me outside my front door. Some days I would attempt to make the journey from my front door to my car only to be overwhelmed by the voices of people around me. In personal shame I would return to my house and remain in that safe place for the duration of the day. The next day, I might make it to the car, and even complete a portion of my commute before the fear would turn me homeward. The problems extended to personal conversation with even one person. When I did manage to get into a conversation with another person, I would feel my face begin to blush. I could actually feel the heat of the blood flushing my cheeks. This was cause for even more stress and feelings of shame, so the thunderstorm of emotion grew even darker. I would become lightheaded, and I would have trouble paying attention to the conversation due to irrational fearful thoughts racing in my brain. If I was able to find an emotional umbrella to get me through a day filled with the storms of social interaction, I would spend hours sometimes days obsessing over minute details of my behavior. Things like my choice of language used in speaking with someone of no importance to me at all. I would sometimes play back the mental image of one sentence spoken to one obscure person just to analyze my choice between two perfectly synonymous words.
After several months of counseling and drug therapy the difference was nothing short of amazing. The clouds broke, and the sun shown through. I became hopeful! I started to get up early every morning excited to prepare for another day. I would leave my house early, and speak to people from the moment I left the stoop. My commute became a relaxing opportunity to extend every courtesy to other drivers. I looked forward to talking with others in intimate situations. It became an opportunity to get to know someone new. Not only was I able to respond to others in a more natural way, but I would seek others in order to engage them in conversation. I began to think about what would happen in the future. This left little time to dwell over things in the past. I no longer feel a need to analyze every detail of every conversation with every person I come in contact with. I could now enjoy talking with someone just for the sake of talking.
I have heard people say they enjoy the sweet smell of the air just after a thunderstorm. I now agree. It smells cool, clean, and new. It gives me hope!


Senior Member
I connected with this, mainly because I'm like that. I don't take medicine, and I haven't taken counseling. Though I tried once, and I quit after a few weeks. I totally understand what you go through and feel.

I really feel like its such a huge handicap to have it. Like I just interviewed for a job, selling phones in the mall. I didn't get the job, and now I'mprobably stuck with an even worse job, working at Round Table Pizza or I may not even get that job. Its a such no brainer job. That really hurts me, that I can't even get hired to do a job in sales becuase my communication skills are so terrible, and they just feel I can't do it. It makes me feel like I am stuck doing some real low low skill jobs. It really pisses me off, and I should get help also. I feel like I have wasted two years of college, when I should be enjoying it, and not hermiting my in my room.

Anyways thanks for writing this. Made me feel hopeful that I can get over this problem aslo