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Do you have friends? I really just have my husband and immediate family. I scared the other ones away and I don't know how to make new ones ... I don't know how to talk to people. I don't think we have anything in common. I've never been a social butterfly but lately I just feel locked inside myself and I don't trust anyone. I used to try but I no longer see the point really...

 

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Do you see a therapist? I have social anxiety as well and was able to work on it with my therapist. Basically, you have to slowly expose yourself to social situations. At first it should be a safe environment such as a therapy group or maybe a 15 minute interaction with someone. The worst thing you can do is isolate because then you will have even a harder time making friends. Also if your anxiety about other people is so drastic that you don't reach out you may want to tell this to your psychiatrist and have a mad tweak.

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13 minutes ago, Iceberg said:

What meds are u on? 

Prozac, small amount of Abilify and PRN Ativan. The Abilify probably needs to be higher, I expect my pdoc will raise it at my apt next week.

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1 hour ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

Do you see a therapist? I have social anxiety as well and was able to work on it with my therapist. Basically, you have to slowly expose yourself to social situations. At first it should be a safe environment such as a therapy group or maybe a 15 minute interaction with someone. The worst thing you can do is isolate because then you will have even a harder time making friends. Also if your anxiety about other people is so drastic that you don't reach out you may want to tell this to your psychiatrist and have a mad tweak.

Yes, I have a great therapist I have been seeing for several years. I actually did make some friends with her encouragement and then about a year ago I lost them all by getting paranoid/ragey. Now I just figure that nobody will want to be friends with me, if they do they will sooner or later find out I'm crazy and then dump me like the others. It's a huge amount of work just to get rejected by somebody. 

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27 minutes ago, Iceberg said:

Do u think the Prozac helps? 

Idk. It got me out of a bad depression a couple years ago. I don't *think* I am depressed right now, although definitely have low energy and motivation. Mostly I just feel anxious and suspicious. Do you think the antidepressant makes it worse? I have bipolar and SZA in my immediate family ...

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I think it might be worth talking about it with your doc to make sure you're addressing all the. Current issues 

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Oh I can so relate @Juniper29. I have zero friends. Lost them all due to my illness (SZA bipolar type). I get paranoid and manic or depressed as hell or "delusional" I'm told. That scares people away. I wish I had friends so bad. I'm so lonely. I do attend group therapy twice weekly. But it's not the same as having a friend IME. Everyone is kind of off in their own head or world in the groups I'm in (including me). 

I am or maybe was so extroverted. So not having real social interaction is painful. 

When I could work I was very popular too amongst co workers. I was just a people person. Well liked. 

Now look at me. I'm completely opposite. It's so weird and heartbreaking to me. 

 I hope you find some friends. It's hard.

Edited by Wonderful.Cheese
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I will just add I had psychotic symptoms first when I was not taking any medication. I could not leave my apartment because the government was tracking all my movements. Then it cleared up for a couple years, during which I had a major depressive episode and got back on meds. The paranoia has come back in the past year, with the past few months being more like how it was in the beginning. So yeah I know I need my meds adjusted because I'm still being medicated as if my main problem is depression.

1 minute ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

Oh I can so relate @Juniper29. I have zero friends. Lost them all due to my illness (SZA bipolar type). I get paranoid and manic or depressed as hell or "delusional" I'm told. That scares people away. I wish I had friends so bad. I'm so lonely. I do attend group therapy twice weekly. But it's not the same as having a friend IME. Everyone is kind of off in their own head or world in the groups I'm in (including me). 

I am or maybe was so extroverted. So not having real social interaction is painful. 

When I could work I was very popular too amongst co workers. I was just a people person. Well liked. 

Now look at me. I'm completely opposite. It's so weird and heartbreaking to me. 

 I hope you find some friends. It's hard.

Thank you. I hope we both find some.

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3 minutes ago, Juniper29 said:

I will just add I had psychotic symptoms first when I was not taking any medication. I could not leave my apartment because the government was tracking all my movements. Then it cleared up for a couple years, during which I had a major depressive episode and got back on meds. The paranoia has come back in the past year, with the past few months being more like how it was in the beginning. So yeah I know I need my meds adjusted because I'm still being medicated as if my main problem is depression.

Thank you. I hope we both find some.

Thanks. I hope you can find the right meds too. That should help too. 

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Forgot my oldest friend's birthday, one of the few people I still keep in contact with. She accused me of not thinking about other people. It is true to some extent I guess - I haven't been very available lately. Haven't been reaching out much. I feel trapped in my own head a lot and either have too much anxiety to reach out or I just forget things. It's not because I don't care, though. I actually do care and do try, that's what's so frustrating. I try, but it's not enough, I just don't have the resources to meet their expectations.

Well I see my pdoc again soon, still in process of changing meds around. Nobody really knows right now what exactly my diagnosis should be or where it's all going. I hate the uncertainty.

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Sometimes you need time to "hibernate" and take care of your emotions. There comes a point eventually though, where you should start coming out of your shell. I suffer with the same issue. MI is not fun. People want to be friends with positive people who are outgoing, energetic and fun...which I used to be, but during the down times, it's exhausting to always have to "put up the happy front" You know?

So many times I try to connect, put myself out there, just to get rejected when someone gets to really know me and my melancholy "alter ego" which I've been forced to hide from strangers...so overall, I've been spending the last 5+ years having intermittent, superficial, fleeting contacts (I wouldn't even call them full relationships or friends). The worst part of it is when you have someone you've spent time & energy to build friendship, and they disappear when you really need them, or just need a bit of moral support. People can be cruel and selfish. In those times, I've realized I should just keep to myself, or post my anxieties here, before I scare more people away and end up feeling worse about myself!

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51 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Sometimes you need time to "hibernate" and take care of your emotions. There comes a point eventually though, where you should start coming out of your shell. I suffer with the same issue. MI is not fun. People want to be friends with positive people who are outgoing, energetic and fun...which I used to be, but during the down times, it's exhausting to always have to "put up the happy front" You know?

So many times I try to connect, put myself out there, just to get rejected when someone gets to really know me and my melancholy "alter ego" which I've been forced to hide from strangers...so overall, I've been spending the last 5+ years having intermittent, superficial, fleeting contacts (I wouldn't even call them full relationships or friends). The worst part of it is when you have someone you've spent time & energy to build friendship, and they disappear when you really need them, or just need a bit of moral support. People can be cruel and selfish. In those times, I've realized I should just keep to myself, or post my anxieties here, before I scare more people away and end up feeling worse about myself!

I can relate. No matter what people say, I actually think isolation is better for me. I just end up feeling worse when I try to force myself to socialize. I'm just too depressed to even put on the happy face/ fake it.

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3 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Sometimes you need time to "hibernate" and take care of your emotions. There comes a point eventually though, where you should start coming out of your shell. I suffer with the same issue. MI is not fun. People want to be friends with positive people who are outgoing, energetic and fun...which I used to be, but during the down times, it's exhausting to always have to "put up the happy front" You know?

So many times I try to connect, put myself out there, just to get rejected when someone gets to really know me and my melancholy "alter ego" which I've been forced to hide from strangers...so overall, I've been spending the last 5+ years having intermittent, superficial, fleeting contacts (I wouldn't even call them full relationships or friends). The worst part of it is when you have someone you've spent time & energy to build friendship, and they disappear when you really need them, or just need a bit of moral support. People can be cruel and selfish. In those times, I've realized I should just keep to myself, or post my anxieties here, before I scare more people away and end up feeling worse about myself!

Exactly. I know that if I fake it, which I'm not even very good at (I come across kind of odd/eccentric IRL) sooner or later my real self will come out. The last friendship that I worked really hard at, ended last year and left me feeling completely demoralized about the whole thing.

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19 hours ago, Juniper29 said:

Exactly. I know that if I fake it, which I'm not even very good at (I come across kind of odd/eccentric IRL) sooner or later my real self will come out. The last friendship that I worked really hard at, ended last year and left me feeling completely demoralized about the whole thing.

Exactly! What do you guys do to compensate for this lack of friends & social life? Do you end up working alot? Doing hobbies/studying/distractions alone? What is the main activity that fulfills you, if you fail at making/maintaining relationships and do not have anyone to interact with?

Edited by Blahblah

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21 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Exactly! What do you guys do to compensate for this lack of friends & social life? Do you end up working alot? Doing hobbies/studying/distractions alone? What is the main activity that fulfills you, if you fail at making/maintaining relationships and do not have anyone to interact with?

I have a child with special needs, so that takes up a lot of my time and energy. Other than that, I read a lot, write some.

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I can relate..I have zero friends..I have nobody to turn to when I need someone..I don't even know where to start to make friends..my isolation led me to take a drawing class at the local parks and recreation center and to take my doggie Bailey to training..but I'm not interacting with anybody..everyone is in their own world..but at least I'm getting out of the house a couple times a week...maybe you could take a class??

I also joined a gym and am doing yoga..but again nobody is there to socialize..

I'm just lost on how to make friends and the isolation hurts..

When I was working people liked me but we never hung out..so it feels like they were all lying..

I've scared off everyone I used to know..years of knowing these people and they abandoned me when I needed them..I'm probably not worth knowing..

I really don't know what to do anymore...I'm not sure if it's a medication thing or if our illnesses just lead to isolation..

I hope you can get out of isolation and find friends..

I have here and I appreciate everyone 

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@Juniper29 Wow. How old is your child? I imagine that must be extremely difficult to have to deal with that and have no social support. You & your husband are still together right? That situation in itself would be very isolating, since many people probably cannot relate?

@coraline I hear you...I've tried those things too..meetups, gym, yoga classes, I  either don't connect at all, people don't socialize at the gym, or people abandon me sooner or later. Maybe I just look for a "deeper" kind of friendship where you can share important things, not just talk about surface stuff. That is awesome you have a Dog (wish i had one) I've heard that walking a dog can be a great way to meet people. People will often go to pet it and think it's cute or whatever. Others say having a dog is a social magnet. I often go up to people with dogs and ask it's name, age, pet it, etc etc. Maybe out walking, you will start seeing the same people and can strike up a hello or short conversation?

I hope people here can find a way out of the loneliness too. I am very grateful to have this CB community, even if we aren't "IRL" friends - we share much much more details and offer more support then we would with anyone we meet in real life!!

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21 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

@Juniper29 Wow. How old is your child? I imagine that must be extremely difficult to have to deal with that and have no social support. You & your husband are still together right? That situation in itself would be very isolating, since many people probably cannot relate?

He's 3. Yeah, it does make connecting harder ... I used to go to mom groups but my experience was so different from theirs, it got increasingly awkward. He gives me a reason for being, though. I have a lot of fears that somebody will decide I'm not a fit parent and take him away from me. In fact just posting this makes me nervous ... I know I am a good mom, though.

My husband is still sticking with me, he knew I was crazy when he married me. ;) Don't know what I'd do without him!

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I have my 1 best friend, my family, and my faith. I isolate because if I get too much stimulation I meltdown so I need a lot of alone time. At the same time though I feel lonely. 

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this is a great thread, I feel in good company.  I also have no friends, some acquaintances at work, gym.  Most of the friends I used to have distanced themselves because of my behaviors or drifted away because I would get depressed and not want to talk to anyone for months.  Or I was too anxious to reach out to anyone.  This is why I come here......the people I do talk to in day to day stuff don't know about my history or some of the issues I still face.  There really isn't anyone I can be honest with about what I'm experiencing.  It's a relief to be able to talk (or type as the case may be) with people that have similar experience. 

Since I don't socialize, I spend a lot of free time reading, which I'm happy with.  And with my pets.  I find having an animal around helps with the need for companionship outside of husband and child who don't understand my illness so I don't discuss it with them except for "I'm very anxious I have to go calm down" or "please let me be, I'm not feeling well (translate to "I will sob or scream at you if you say anything to me").  I can tell the dog anything and she just licks my face.  If people can have pets I highly recommend it.  They love unconditionally (they also shed a lot and expect walks, but it's worth it). 

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