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

Responses: 188


Updated June 11, 2009

Left out :(

I need a support group or something. This problem is only going to get worse as I get older. I need to get over this. Every thing that's wrong with me I look it up online and I don't feel like it's social "anxiety" idk, maybe it is. I recently went to a party and I just got really sad, cause I couldn't talk to everyone and join in the fun. So I just left. That happens all too often and I'm sick of it. I get so depressed. I need some relief so I can have fun with my friends at parties and other social events.
—Guest Angie

Daily repay

Every interaction, whether with acquaintances, colleagues, or even certain family members, leaves me in a state of "instant re-play" for hours, sometimes even days after. It's like I pick apart every word I say, like someone above commented, trying to analyze what I said "wrong," or what made me seem weird, or how I put my "foot in my mouth." I present myself as this cheerful, friendly, outgoing person, but inside I am so title wound up with constant discomfort when speaking to most people. The only time I am ever truly calm and at peace is when I am alone. This has caused me to socially isolate myself at different times in my life, especially during my years as a stay at home mom. I constantly worry about what people are thinking of me, hoping that they "like" me!! Why??? My mind knows that this should not matter, but my heart fails to get the message. And one rude comment, slight, or criticism leaves me reeling for days...
—Guest Beth


I'm living with it, so its cool. I know one day it will be fine.
—Guest Michael

And now I'm self helping myself...

I was extraordinarily social and confident. Friends used to come to me FOR advice over a multitude of issues that I generally had no knowledge in. Dated and held relationships. Fast forward: I am 26 and can barely leave my house except for work but even then, stepping out in public to walk an hour to work is excruciating. I can feel the heat rising in my face, the sweat pouring out of every pore and the slight tremors that arise with nervousness. I am paranoid. I see people glancing or staring at me and immediately think of how apparent my awkwardness must be. How absolutely ridiculous I must look. The other night, a woman at work commented "he just looks so nervous". I was a musician and have, what I believe to be, great hearing so I'm pretty sure of what I heard. The crappy part is being unaware of it all at this point. I can't even approach women anymore without losing my mind. I hope this doesn't last long. My social life has diminished to non-existence. I hope this doesnt last lon
—Guest At a loss

hpw can i feel normal..

My anxiety started when I was 15, I'm now 24 and barely go out its gotten so bad I don't even want to reply to text messages, when I'm around people my heart beats so fast my mind goes blank and I don't knw what to say? I'm fine talking on the ph but its face to face situations that freak me out and I can't figure out why this happen but I want it to stop I just wanna be outgoing and social so I can make more friends cos Atm I sit at home most days cleaning or watching t.v my anxiety makes me paranoid I used to think people thought I was a retard and get really offended when people would make a joke about so I got given the name feisty but in all honesty I wasn't feisty I was hurting and scared and I still am and I have no idea how to make it stop it'd be so nice for once to be able,to have a decent conversation with a random and not have a freaking heart attack in the process urgh...exhausted!!
—Guest bex

There's still hope!!!

Reading these really took me back to when I used to battle with this. And it breaks my heart, I feel for you guys and understand all of you guys. I was desperate back then and self medicated with sex and violence, just so that I could escape that constant feeling. Later on in life I found Jesus and my life did a 360. I learned that I was loved, and that all those thoughts weren't mine, but I believed them all. God asks us to put on the full armor of God (Ephes. 6-11) helmet of salvation is part of it, God asks us to protect our minds. And we fight back with the sword which is the word of God, if you want to know who you are and why things are the way they are seek the Father, he created you and has the manual to your life. The enemy has only came to kill still and destroy but God has came to give life and give it more abundantly. I use to have SAD and know has called me to be a pastor something I could have never Done with out God but he loved me and showed me to be a victor not a victim, God Bless
—Guest chris

Living in fear

I'm a 14 year old male who lives in Canada. I live in a small town of about 5000 people. I am currently finishing off my first year of high school and I hated it. I am one of those guys who gets stressed over EVERYTHING and I mean it. I have a supporting family who encourages me to do sports and get good grades. At school I don't get very good marks. I have friends who are nice but also make fun of me. It is hard being friends with them because they are "perfect" compared to everyone else so when they make jokes they know that they are unstoppable. I am made fun of mainly because I am skinny not muscular and stupid as they say. I know that I am capable of being a very happy and enthusiastic person if I didn't have to deal with the stress. I mean I get stressed from things like thinking I'm walking funny in the school. Like most people like myself I just want to be normal in my mind. I sometimes get jealous over my friends because they can enjoy life while I find every day at school stressful.
—Guest Jayden

You think you have a problem?

I have anxiety. There was a time when my anxiety was really out of control. There wasn't a day that I would feel relaxed because every day for me was a challenge with Everything I did. I couldn't eat, drink, read, write, hear music, watch certain TV shows or movies, I couldn't even use certain colors. etc. I was always scared that somehow my anxiety was going to get in the way with the things I wanted to do. So I avoided them. I started to shake my head lots of times, my chest would start pounding a lot or in other words I was having a hard time breathing, I would even start to blink a lot. I would do all these things at the same time. It's like if I were trying to prevent my anxiety from happening. Every day I would be praying to God. And believe it or not my prayers were answered. Little by little I was able to do things that I couldn't do before. What I'm saying is don't lose your faith in God. I would say this every time. No matter how hard or how many times I fall I trust in you Father.
—Guest Don't Give UP!!!

I hate what i have become

I have always had some sort of social anxiety...but for a little while it went away. A year ago I had my first real scary anxiety attack at a school basketball game. After that it went downhill. I don't ever go out anymore, I don't eat all day, because I feel if i do I might have an anxiety attack and vomit. It gets even worse, because I have a controlling mother who does not understand what I am going through, and makes me do things i feel i am not ready to do. I recently found out i got a job (something she made me apply for) , I am so nervous especially since I don't eat all day, I feel like I might faint from not having any food in my system. I wish my mother would let me take anxiety medication. I don't get it, our parents want the best for us, but wont let us even try to be the person we want to be. :(
—Guest Elle

feel i'm dying

I'm 17, I grew up with the routine of "school home" and vice versa, I do not mingle with other people and when I'm on the street I'm annoyed when people look at me, I only interact with people I'm close with. I prefer to stay at home rather than go shopping or go out with my family and friends. Right now I'm starting my college life, but instead of feeling excited, nervousness was prevailing on me. And the fear I feel when I'm thinking that school days were on their way I feel I was dying and the worst was I cried a lot, when that situation came to me I'm thinking of dropping out and telling myself that I'm not yet ready to face other people, and I'm scared of what will happen to me if my professor is terrorizing? What if he drags me into the center and humiliates me in front of my classmates, how should I react, am I going to collapse or run away and cry followed by dropping out? I really want to talk to someone who can give me some advice to conquer this curse.
—Guest harima


I'm 14, and I hate going to school. Not because I can't do the work, I know I can do most of it, but awhile ago some memories submerged from my mind, and it haunted me for months before I told anyone. I had been raped and molested when I was younger. It just added to things. I used to love going to school, I was friends with everyone, then this girl stole all my friends and made my life miserable. That was in grade 4-ish. I'm now in grade 8 (High-school) And I have no friends, I had 2 best friends but they treated me like sh*t and always left me out, my therapist says I have severe anxiety. I haven't seen her for quite awhile and I really need to. My parents don't understand and all they do is pressure me, and say I need to try harder. But just getting out of bed is me trying. I feel fat, and useless. All my parents do is say "Do your homework!!" I don't know what to do.
—Guest Alex

Horrible, do I have this what do I do

I cannot go outside without thinking people are looking at me laughing, looking at me and poking fun at my body. I have smoked a lot of cannabis in the past and can't go appointments, shops, out with my kids without feeling that everyone's against me in some way!! What do I do who can make this go away?. My name's David and I've been this way since I was 17 !!! I'm now 32...

Living with Social Anxiety Disorder

Its been about 3 years now that my anxiety has been in my life and I can say that it has caused me to live in fear. I used to like going to school to see my friends, I used to like going out partying, I used to like doing a lot of things, and now because of social anxiety disorder, I have become friendless, homeless, heartless, Scared, Paranoid and angry. I constantly feel like people are watching me, even when I'm sitting here on my bed, I constantly feel like people are peeking through my windows or aiming at me with a sniper somewhere, I ALWAYS feel threatened. I have found someone who accepts me the way I am, but no matter what, these are everyday issues i deal with. I no longer leave my house because to me, people on the bus and on the street are all judging me as i walk by them, or sit by them, which causes me to hide myself. I have no life anymore, and because of SAD I'm not in the grad 2012 picture, with the rest of the people I used to know. Glad to know I'm not the only one.
—Guest Chanelle L.

Feels so unfair

I avoid everybody lately. I want to change my hair color every other week and somehow hope that will turn me into a new person. I always regret everything new I try and I second guess everything. I live in constant fear that someone is staring at me and thinking bad things about me. I'd rather stare at the ground than make eye contact with unknown people, I can barely say the word Hi without thinking I said it the wrong way. Shopping in a store is more about me wondering what everyone else is thinking, it's not even about shopping to me. Everyday life is just so hard. Doctor visits, ordering food, going to the mall, everything just freaks me out. I can't even stand hearing my own voice some days. I have been this way since I was 10, 16 years later and I'm still battling myself. It's so hard but I'm still trying. You can't give up on yourself no matter how bad it gets, there's always another day to try again. That's how I get through my life. I really wish so much that I will find myself.
—Guest XoXo

SAD controls your personality

If I could change something about me it would be my Social Anxiety. I hate having it and I wish I could enjoy being at school as much as some people. I am completely me at home and I am someone who I don't even recognize at school. People who don't have SAD do not understand how hard and stressful school can be. I am supposed to be enjoying my teen high school years but instead I dread them. Walking down hallways, getting up in front of class, reading out loud, speeches, and even just sitting feeling awkward in a chair are all things I dread and go through everyday with SAD. I hate sitting in front of the class at my desk because I feel that people are staring at me. Having SAD is horrible. The worst part is that people don't get to see the real you at school (that kills me). People think they know my shy personality, but truly that is NOT who I am. I have a huge crush and I even dread running into him because I am afraid I will seem awkward even though I want to talk to him.
—Guest blue

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