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

Responses: 188


Updated June 11, 2009

It's horrible.

I am only 12. I hate this so much. Everyday at school, if someone asks me like for a pencil, I have to say yes. Or else I think they are judging me. I walk around in the hallway, terrified, thinking someone is staring at me, judging me. Whenever I go out to eat at a restaurant, I feel like I'm gonna throw up because I see people looking at me. I have many friends, yet I think everyday, am I being too annoying? Do they think I'm stupid? Do they think I'm ugly? I try so hard to be confident, it's impossible. I hate it so much. Every night I cry thinking I don't have any friends, that nobody likes me, I've even gotten to the point of thinking my parents hate me. I want it gone. I'm afraid to tell people. Whatever. I'm gonna have to some time.
—Guest Anonymous

Overcoming SAD

I have SAD. It's been a hard road to travel down but accepting that it's a part of who I am is helping me in the process of overcoming it. I read an article that suggested facing your fears, make a list and start with the smallest ones. Do a little every day and every day it will get a little bit better. Appreciate the small accomplishments and eventually they will get bigger. I just got a waitressing job which is overwhelming for a person with SAD, but every day it forces me to interact with many people. I'm still terrified of the prospect of being embarrassed or judged and I'm trying to force myself not to care but it's hard. I'm throwing myself into the social realm because people and relationships are what makes life worth living. SAD sucks but life is too short to let it debilitate you. There is always going to be someone who is going to judge me and I'm working on not caring anymore. Don't conform to what people expect you to be, be who you want, and let go of caring. Just live.
—Guest Hope floats

It's so difficult

I am 12 and everyday I feel like someone is judging me or talking bad about me or staring at me and it's really hard all of the sudden I get really nervous and I almost start to cry and sometimes I do cry and it's even gotten to the point were it happens at home too. It's really hard on me and I hate it. And what makes matters worse I can't tell anyone how I feel I have tried to a lot but I just can't it's too hard it's like something is pulling me away from saying it. I am afraid people will judge me or make fun of me. My sister or my dad will ask me what's wrong and I will say nothing because I really don't want to tell them what's really wrong. It's really hard and I just don't know what to do anymore.
—Guest Guest harmony

SAD and depression

My condition I feel like isn't as intense as others, but at the same time, just as bad. I say this because it isn't that I get extreme panic attacks (not any more!), it's that I'm so apathetic. I used to have social anxiety, but I'd make friends still because I could still show my emotions. Now I don't even know how to. I live by myself, I work a job with long hours each day. I have literally no friends. I feel like I have so much to offer, but I don't even know what that is any more or how to offer it. I wish I could be in love too - I'm a hopeless romantic. But I would just become dependent and worry about everything. I don't know what to do, I'm so depressed and lonely.
—Guest Hans

SAD is ruining my life..

Im 16, and I have suffered from SAD and OCD all my life. I have a lot of friends at school, but I still feel anxious around them everyday. When I walk into the cafeteria to go sit with my friends, I feel like everyone Is watching me. In my law class, I sit at the front of the room where I am clearly visible to everyone, and I'm always afraid that ppl are judging me. I even feel anxious and nervous in front of my own family, and you would think the would be the ones I feel the most comfortable around. All I know is that avoidance is the worst way to go. My advice to all you guys out there is to never ever avoid. It will only make it worse, and it will make you feel depressed And angry with urself for not facing ur fEars. I'm in therapy and tryIng to get my life back on track, because this disorder has made me so unhappy with the world, who I am, the way my life is turning out.. Everytime someone makes fun of mE or says somethIng rude I will never forget It
—Guest Anonymous

what happened

I feel so conflicted and confused all the time. I used to be so outgoing and not afraid of anything, and then at 28 I was loosing it ..I couldnt go the store without going nuts and it became worse and worse. And now what once gave me pleasure like shopping and having fun with my friends, have no viable life in them to me anymore and I hate it! No doubt life situations play a major role but why am I so dang scared of losing it ...
—Guest kb

Ruining my life

I am 17 years old.I can't focus much at school because I always believe people are staring at me...and thinking or talking about me..or judging me..and I can't concentrate. It's worse when I leave my classroom and have to be exposed to a thousand others on the campus who move in huge groups, the worse kind yet because they can discuss about me. Either if it's a bad or good way that they are talking about me. I hate the feeling knowing they will stare. Also, I have many friends at campus but their classes are not the same time as mine so when I go out for lunch I usually sit alone or go in the library..and i just set up myself for more stares because it's as if I am being a loner. Most of my classes end at lunch (thank God) but I still have to wait for my father to pick me up so I have to wait for him and standing up with people staring at me...like hawks, I always was this way but now it's become even worse and it's ruining my life and I've even have thoughts of quitting college.

Trying to be an extrovert

I have a lot of anxieties - I often wake up feeling really sick and exhausted, and am worried about everything, from real things such as finances to potential, but unlikely things such as illness. I think I might have social anxiety too, and it feels like a cycle, because being a worry-guts makes it hard for me to be happy, and this in turn makes it hard for me to be up-beat when I'm around people, and so I end up forcing myself to be extrovert. I don't believe that trying to be outgoing when you're not necessarily works - I've decided I am an introvert and and a worry-guts, with a lot of other nice qualities too, and I'm going to be the person I am rather than someone who goes about smiling and laughing when I'm internally troubled.
—Guest ER

My life

I've just turned 18 years old, I feel as though I've failed every part of my life, when I started secondary school it went all downhill from there, I was so shy because I didn't know anyone I managed to make one or two friends but I didn't really speak to them. About the middle of year 7 in secondary school I got severely to the point where I refused to go to school and started arguing with my family like they were my worst enemy. After that I missed 1 and a half years of school, my parents tried to put me on therapy, hypnosis and had 3 different councillors, my doctor thought it was laziness, no one understood what I went through. Then I tried to join a new school I was so shy I always kept my head down, it was and still is impossible to keep eye contact with anyone even my family. At this second school I joined I made some good friends but the bullying didn't stop, I missed the last year of my school and left with no grades and I feel scared and judged by everyone around me and alone.
—Guest Jimmyj27

Nowhere Feels Safe

I'm a senior in high school. Throughout the past couple years my social anxiety has gotten so bad that I don't even feel comfortable in my own house anymore. At night it is the worst. I avoid getting near the windows at night because I fear someone out there can see me. I won't walk around my house at night if a light is on. Even if the curtains are closed, all the lights must be off before I leave my bedroom. I can't even go outside my house without my heart rate picking up and getting intense anxiety. At school, I feel sick all day from the never-ending anxiety I have just sitting in class. Even when I'm laying in bed at night, I'm worried that someone can see me through the window. I'm so sick of this. I don't know what to do.
—Guest Jessie

Social anxiety disorder

Hello. I am 37 years old and I suffer and am so tired of suffering. I used to see a psychologist but I feel as though it didn't help much. I have been looking into group therapy. I wish I could overcome this. I am married to a wonderful man and we have a beautiful little girl. I am so sick of my heart racing, feeling insecure and nervous. I want to feel like part of the crowd for once and for all.

My whole life has changed due to anxiety

I am 22 years old and live in Denmark. Since my anxiety has gotten worse the last two years I have stopped and started school all over again but nevertheless it hasn't been for good. I can't be at places where there are many people as I get afraid and nervous if people can all see me and I think people think bad about me. But the anxiety is not the worst thing I have. I also have some OCD staring issue where I stare out of my eye corners at every person I meet. The worst about this is that I just feel every time that people can feel my staring at them. It's not that I turn my head to stare directly at people but that I do it out of the eye corners. I can't just stop it and don't know how to deal with it. And as there isn't any much information about this OCD staring issue I don't know what to do. Before I was in school and working I had a family life and now it's all gone. I don't have a life anymore...
—Guest Shais Anees

Some things get better

Even though my social anxiety is still there, the degree to which it affects me has gotten better. I've learned to cope with some situations that once bothered me. Back in high school it used to bother me if my face turned red. This would happen whenever anyone said anything about homosexuality in class. However, it has been years since then and since I am fine now with being gay, it no longer bothers me. Besides l've learned that no one really cares if your face turns red. It really isn't a big deal. Another situation that used to bother me would be if I had a dreaded function to go to. I would worry and obsess a lot about it beforehand. Now I just don't think about it. I put it out of my mind until the function happens. I realized that my worrying beforehand will not help the situation that I have to attend. It only spoiled the present moment and made my anxiety worse. Why spoil the present worrying about the future? I will deal with the situation when it comes but not until then.

Life feels like hell with SAD

I'm 13 years old, and I don't know what's happened with me. I dread going to school, or meeting new people, and tend to think so much about upcoming social situations that makes me try my best to avoid them. I've a huge difficulty in approaching anyone, even my closest friends and family, and if I talk, I usually just answer questions asked by others. The only place I'm comfortable to talk is online, because I feel anonymous. I try to fight my anxiety, and face the problems, but before that I think so much, and when I end up in the situation, I feel completely out of my mind. I have a constant fear that whenever I'm seen by anyone, they are judging me badly and will soon make fun of me, and I've been bullied a lot at school. I never had much friends at all, and if I've had friends, they were 1 or 2. However, if I've friends, I feel comfortable being around them (I feel comfortable with my family as well) because I know them enough that they won't judge me badly, but I'm still trying to fight it.
—Guest Draconic

Just nice

I'm a junior in high school and in sophomore year I felt like I had all the friends in the world. But once I quit doing drugs and started dating the love of my life they all just stopped talking to me. No one texted me over the summer. Once they stopped talking to me I didn't know how to handle it. The only person who would text me after that was my boyfriend. Now I feel that any person I talk to is just talking to me to be nice. I feel like I'm a mentally retarded person everyone makes fun of and I shouldn't be at the school any more. I can't trust anyone so I won't talk to anyone because I don't think they want to be my friend. Because I feel like I'm a weird awkward person who doesn't belong anywhere. I even feel like my own mother talks to me like that I'm so lost and nothing is helping
—Guest Alyce

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