I’m 17 and have really bad social anxiety. Since 2020, i have gained at least 40 pounds. with Covid and being home 24/7, all I really did was binge eat and watch Netflix. I realize now it’s a problem because of my appearance and how much I have changed since then. Before Covid, I was going to school, hanging out with friends and always out. Now, all I do is stay in my room, lay in bed and watch Netflix. I switched to cyber school because of how bad my anxiety was with going into school. I do have a job, I work twice a week but even going to work twice a week is a struggle for me. I hate going out in public, especially alone. I constantly get anxiety when I’m out around people and even at work too. I’ve tried talking to my therapist about this as well as my family but no one really seems to get it. I feel alone in this world. I want to change and I know I have the power to change, I just don’t want to. I’m so unmotivated, I almost don’t even care anymore. I feel like a burden. thanks for reading :):
Welcome to TC and thank you for sharing your story!! You are already doing some things that are good steps to helping yourself out. Be proud that you are seeking help even if you don’t feel motivated.
- Continue to talk to your therapist. Even if it seems like your therapist isn’t getting it, you may give insight to something that is being missed. If you continue to feel that therapy isn’t working, talk to your family about maybe finding a different therapist. Sometimes it takes time to find a therapist that works well with you.
- Keep your job as hard as it may be to deal with at times. Try not to isolate any more than you already are. You may feel uncomfortable but being at work and being productive are things that will end up helping you more with your situation. You will start to notice that it’s ok to feel anxiety but after you notice the feeling, try telling yourself “STOP” recognize the feeling and why you feel that way and then let it pass. If you can work on that, eventually it will get easier and easier to do when you start feeling anxious.
- You mentioned that you are not motivated. This sounds like there may be some depression along with your anxiety. Do you see a Doctor? if not, maybe you want to talk to your therapist about seeing a Dr. regarding your feelings. Depression has many different symptoms. Your lack of motivation and social anxiety can be symptoms of Depression. Maybe not, you would have to seek a professionals opinion. A Family Doctor or Psychiatrist would be able to help.
- Dealing with all the symptoms and feelings that anxiety causes can be tough. Start small and make some changes that may benefit you. Do you keep a feelings Journal? Journaling is a great way for us to get our thoughts out and sometimes to gain perspective on how we are dealing with a situation. Maybe go for a 20-30 minute walk and take your journal with you. Find a nice spot to sit and have your favorite drink and just sit and journal in nature for awhile. Giving ourselves this time can be a huge benefit. Not to mention, no Netflix!! Netflix is great, but it can turn into a negative thing if you sit and watch TV all day and have nothing structured to do. This will end up causing you to feel more negative and then that’s when the junk eating begins.
- Try to do small periods of socialization. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and go somewhere where there’s a lot of people or somewhere that you will be stuck for hours. Try just getting together with a few people for 30 minutes. A quick lunch or craft session with friends or family. Then challenge yourself a little more each time. Keep your group small, you don’t need to be around a lot of people but just having some time socializing with people is very important. If you keep to yourself, your going to get caught in negative thoughts and that will spiral into a lot of anxiety.
- Consider trying aromatherapy. Find a scent that you really like. It could be peppermint, lavender, citrus, whatever works for you. Believe it or not, putting a few drops on your wrist or a cotton ball and smelling it when your feeling anxious can really help alleviate anxiety. Give it a try and see if it helps!!!!! Do you like the taste of hot things? Maybe sour things? Try this experiment out. When your feeling anxious, pop a warhead in your mouth or a red hot fireball. When we do this, it tricks our brain to focus on the hot or sour sensation in our mouth. This is a grounding technique. Your brain is focused on what is going on inside your mouth and it instantly helps to relieve you of the anxious feelings your having. It really does work!!!! Most of all, hang in there. Look at what we have to offer on the website. Try different things that work for you as coping skills. This will help you when you start to feel anxious or need to go into a social situation. You can overcome your social anxiety!!!! Keep trying!!