On Social Anxiety Disorder


I have it pretty bad and it’s getting worse as I get older. Things that most of you take for granted make me queasy. I have to work myself up to going to the store by myself. Today, I need to go grocery shopping and get a haircut. I’ve been stewing over it all morning.

Male is in another time zone. My sister is out of town. Normally, I run all my errands with her. It’s so much easier with another person there. I’m not sure why that is.

What is it about going to the store that fills me with dread? Is it fear of judgment? I don’t think so. Since I was a teenager, I haven’t really given a crap what others think about me, particularly total strangers. So, what is it about grocery shopping that makes me twiggy? Why don’t I have any Xanax?

Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations.

The key word there is unreasonable. It’s not reasonable to have anxiety over grocery shopping or getting a haircut. There’s something about the process of being out in public with a lot of other people and interacting with strangers while they cut my hair or ring up my purchases that makes my heart go all a pitter-pat and not in a good way.

The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with social anxiety disorder often suffer “anticipatory” anxiety–the fear of a situation before it even happens.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a full-blown panic attack, but I’m experiencing a mild one now because of “anticipatory” anxiety. And this is just grocery shopping. Imagine what I’m like with something important.

I have Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD among others. My disorders are all intertwined in a big disorderly heap. Some take precedence over others at times, but they all work in collusion to ruin my day and make it difficult to do mundane things that other people take for granted.

I’ve decided to do grocery shopping today and hair tomorrow since food is likely more important and I don’t want to overdo it. I am entirely aware of how ridiculous this all is. Really, grocery shopping gives me anxiety? Seriously, brain, what the hell? Try to be reasonable, please. Thx.

Do you have anxiety over stupid things? How do you cope?