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Readers Respond: What is it like to live with SAD?

Responses: 288

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Updated June 11, 2009

When, why?

I was always a social butterfly. I got comments, such as "You are so poised" "So graceful!" "You always know the right thing to say." I was so happy. About two years ago, even three years now perhaps, I started withdrawing. I got nervous, doubting myself in my head, generally stepping all over myself. It's been a downward spiral since then. I can't believe how incredible this anxiety has gotten so quickly and out of nowhere. I can pinpoint exact moment when my personality switched from exuberant to withdrawn, but I don't know why!!! Now I get comments that "I'm a very nervous girl" "Why are you so jumpy?" "Were you abused?" "You make me uncomfortable." I can't look people in the eye because I search them intensely for signs of judgement. That makes them nervous. Conversely, when I DON'T look them in the eyes, it makes them nervous too. People avoid me and talk about me to each other. This is a miserable existence. I can't bear thinking this is how I will be the rest of my life.
—Guest Hoping

Idk

Im scared to go in front of class, go to public places, or public events, or public restrooms, im scared people will judge me and this is just so stupid I hate and im scared of seeing people from my school after school idk why its just im scared they will remember what i am
—Guest Swellnot

Diagnosed when 12

It's gotten to the point I can barely look at strangers, let alone start a conversation. Goddamn does that scare me. Nobody without S.A.D gets it. What it was like to run away from school age 10. What it was like to run away from high school age 12. What it was like to burst into tears or go bright red every time someone looked/stared age 14. What it was like to lock myself in my room because I stuttered while talking to my aunty and not come out for 28 hours age 15. What it was like to try to commit suicide with the voices of anxiety/social anxiety telling me all my worst fears are going to come true age 16. But what they will know soon is that at age 18, it still scares me to speak in front of big groups, but I can manage it. It does get better confronting your fears with the support of others, aswell as seeing a therapist/psychiatrist. Hope you are all doing well .xx
—Guest Adam

Green Hair

As a young child I never had such problem. As I got older, it just happened. I guess with all the peer pressure from society and my family, I became less... Now, I graduated high school and am absolutely terrified of what to come. I made it through high school as a top, average student. My parents didn't really care much about my mental state as I come from an Asian family. So its my summer before college and i dyed my hair green. Everyone seems fine but I get stares and a friend(i'm not sure why) makes remarks all the time about it. After a while, going out made me feel disgusting and sick. At first, I thought "i'm different" but turns out i'm labeled as "weird/bad girl." Everytime someone or the feeling of someone staring at me made me sick to the core. Especially with my hatred for my body. Nothing ended well and the end of the day, i am physically sick at people's judging eyes. And it makes me sick of myself.
—Guest Guest Susan Tran

I am afraid.

I am fifteen years old. At the beginning of my freshman year, I was anxious to go to school. I took it as first-day jitters, like you get every year around the start of school. It soon began to worsen, I would be afraid to speak up in group conversation with my best friends if people I didn't know were present, I would freak if the teacher called my name, to turn in a test, walk to my desk, I'm even beginning to freak a little at church, and I've been going there for eight years. My friends suggested it to be social anxiety, but I just shrugged it off as nothing, but weeks passed by and i was stressing and worrying myself sick, I feel nauseous and have headaches almost non stop. I can't sleep, my eating habits are off. I thought maybe they were retry right, it was then that I freaked more than I ever had. I have had three panic attacks within three weeks, and I have been by myself, unsure of what to do. I told my dad and my step-mom about it and they say it's all in my head, my mom lau
—Guest Awkwardly Silent

I messed up...

So today I went to a wedding and after telling my mother no she still maked me. When we got there as soon as I entered the building my whole body just went tense I got really anxious and scared, we sat down and I just kept my head down I felt that I didn't belong there, as if I wasn't wanted there. I couldn't make eye contact and I ended up crying in fear. My mother drove me home but she shouted at me but she doesn't understand how scary it is for me. I never leave the house I hate leaving the house, I have no friends, no one to talk to. I'm slowly going insane.
—Guest Jess

Feel Like a Waste of Life

I think it started when I got knocked back by a girl years ago, I beat myself up terribly about it for months on end, it was weird because I was actually a funny guy in school and I had friends but it just got worse and worse. I can't do crowds at all man, outcast, weirdo, recluse whatever you want to call it that's me. Every thought that runs through my head is negative, for me it comes round in time periods I can actually have ok days where I don't feel completely terrible, then I try to think positive until the point where it's just overwhelming and just can't stand the sight of myself. I have a real problem with making eye contact with people and whatever I do around people I feel like I'm on camera and it's a freakshow, all eyes looking and laughing at me, but then at work I'll hear 'How was the weekend bro ?' and I just blurt out words 'good got drunk haha enjoyed it but it was shit, how was yours haha', in the space of about 2 milli-seconds, need help.
—Guest Pat

Why??

I know how it feels to have SAD. I'm 14 years old and have trouble talking in public. People around me don't realise just how bad I feel. I'm just too scared all of a sudden to talk to people. So many great things could've happened but never did because. I can't talk to girls and have difficult socializing too! So much that I can't talk to anyone about how depressed and anxious I really am about life! It's hell! I simply can't help but wonder 'why me?'
—Guest Anonymous

i understand

I see myself in everyone of you and it hurts that no one can understand us. Not even ourselves. I've had sad since the fifth grade. I didn't know what it was but I do now.its ruining my life and I feel sometimes it would be preacful to just not be here. I'm scared all the time, I know people talk about how weird I am. When people look at me I turn bright red and get nervouse. Shake and sweat visably. I can't understand what people are trying to say to me and I feel aways like the dumb one. I just can't keep living like this I need help but I'm to scared to go get it less I be judged. Helpme.
—Guest Rhonda

My life has gone

Suddenly my life changed. I can no longer go to parties without getting seriously sick and seeking refuge in the bathroom. Recently it's gotten so bad, I'll wake up and just get so stressed over going to school - I've missed weeks of education. :( I haven't told anyone how I feel because I'm scared of being judged. Being told to "Stop worrying!" by everyone doesn't help. I don't know what to do. I hate myself for letting this happen and I'm tired of getting sick before any "fun" event. Why did this have to happen... why can't I be normal and have my life back...
—Guest Moose

Terrified to be around people.

Not many family members understand my huge fear to speak with others and interact in a social setting. Or even at a friends/family get together. Why do I have panic attacks just being around others? I am not afraid of physical tasks. I start sweating and my heart races when I have to speak on the telephone. I feel so weird. I don't want to have this fear day in and day out. In addition to this anxiety problem, I have bipolar 1 and am trying to recover from alcoholism. Lots to work on. Thank you for letting me share part of my story. I have good times and ups in my life as well as the downs. But sometimes the fear of interacting and speaking with others is just overwhelming. I have to remember: baby steps.
—Guest Baby Jane

Is sad seasonal depression or social anx

Either way. I seem to have both. I relate to parts if not most of every story on this thread. As far as seasonal depression. Spring use to seem to bounce me back. The last few years the depression never seems to leave. Only gets harder and harder. And now the anxiety I have with it is driving me f#*£¥~g crazy. Can't sleep. Can't stand to be around people. Have no motivation, no concentration just a nervous worried blah. Holy s#*t will this ever end. It causes me problems with a job ( don't have one). With relationships. Especially the relationship to my children and to myself. I am my own worse enemy. The world is crazy but at least it functions so who am I to be a critic? I'm quite sure this entry is beginning to make less and less sense. Don't know how I stumbled on this site. Thanks to those who have written their stories. It's nice to see others stories and see that I'm not alone. This sh*t is exhausting huh guys? I feel very inferior, worthless, lazy, and whiny.
—Guest Sad

Is this a real problem?!

I don't know if I have any mental health issues, but I have a feeling that I do because I feel lonely, sad, worthless, don't like myself and have self harmed, all of which are typical signs of depression etc (as I have learned fro extensive reading). However, the weirdest thing is when I get close to a person and tell them everything about myself, I become absolutely terrified of them and cut myself off from them completely, am always on guard and never tell them any other personal things about myself. I don't know if it's a fear of intimacy because (as I have read) that tends to be a subconscious avoidance of intimate relationships, but this is a conscious choice to get rid of people completely because I fear that they have too much information they could use against me. It could be some form of anxiety or inferiority complex or something, but I have absolutely no idea, and just needed to tell someone about it.
—Guest a

Living with my anxiety

I'm only 14 years old and I have SAD and Deppression its not easy living with the fear to go out everyday trying to socialise and contribute to things so people can atleast accept you. I dropped out school because of my anxiety and I don't see a future for myself at all anymore I always think people are tallking about me and looking at me, this makes me nervous my arms get sweaty and I tend to walk in a tense/weird un-sure way on the streets because of this. When I'm in rooms with other people I try to talk and socialise but I don't know what to say! Things are very hard for me because my eyes sometimes get watery in these situations and I feel like crying I don't know who to talk to its so hard I just want to live a normal life I know these years I should be enjoying myself when I see other teens outside socialising it makes me sad and I'm afraid I will be like this my whole life I feel LOST
—Guest Lost

Living with my anxiety

I'm only 14 years old and I have SAD and Deppression its not easy living with the fear to go out everyday trying to socialise and contribute to things so people can atleast accept you. I dropped out school because of my anxiety and I don't see a future for myself at all anymore I always think people are tallking about me and looking at me, this makes me nervous my arms get sweaty and I tend to walk in a tense/weird un-sure way on the streets because of this. When I'm in rooms with other people I try to talk and socialise but I don't know what to say! Things are very hard for me because my eyes sometimes get watery in these situations and I feel like crying I don't know who to talk to its so hard I just want to live a normal life I know these years I should be enjoying myself when I see other teens outside socialising it makes me sad and I'm afraid I will be like this my whole life I feel LOST
—Guest Lost

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