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

Responses: 299


Updated June 11, 2009

For people who don't have social anxiety disorder, it can be hard to understand what it is like to live with daily anxiety about social situations. This is your chance to share the one thing that you really wish you could tell other people about your life. What is it like to live daily with crippling anxiety? What do you wish you could tell everyone but that you know you never will? Share Your Experiences

Just nervous or a serious condition!!!!!

I'm a 20 year old male and I need serious help! Why do I care so much what people think about me! I walk in a very tense way just because I'm always thinking what people might say or think of me. This makes me not think clearly and makes me get things wrong that usually end up as mistakes, and when I make a mistake in front of a crowd I start to sweat. So sweating creates small panic attacks and that makes me sweat even more which this creates a very embarrassing seen!!! It always happens! This sweating and always being so nervous has affected me all throughout high school and now has affected me even more as an adult. I may seem happy in the outside but inside i feel very strongly insecure about my self. Like everything I do or say feels that is so wrong. I can't stand this anymore it has affected me so much that on relationships always fails because I just worry so damn much on what that person thinks! That usually ends badly. Please help.
—Guest Anonymous

I have to make a living

I use to think my anxiety was bad BUT now.. It has really gotten worse!! I am a PTA New Grad and have been working for about 3 weeks now and my anxiety hit me out of no where! I am worried that this a sign saying that I don't like my job, or that I wasted my time and money going to school, etc. But I honestly don't know why its happening. I have been having panic attacks alot mainly in the mornings before work. I have missed 2 days already. I have been doing research and yoga moves, etc. I use to take meds back in college but stopped cause it really wasn't helping but I am thinking about trying meds again because it has never been this SEVERE. I am just feeling hopeless and out of place, like what is wrong with me? Why am I like this? All I want is the feeling to go away and be normal like everyone else who goes to work. I have to make a living and the anxiety is in the way!
—Guest Fight fight

really strange

I go to school and I smile to everyone I try to maintain a good relationship with everyone. But whenever they are talking in a group I tend to feel stupid or feel like my mind cant comprehend something mature to add in the conversation. So I always smile and say nothing. All I could join in are fake faintly smiles. And whenever I attend an event, I feel like everybody's attention is on me. And I feel belittled about my makeup my dressing my shoes. I always find people more composed even if I know so well that I look better. I don't have this confidence. And I tend to have a lot of awkward moments in people so I tend to stay alone. And at the end of the day when I ask people why they aren't my friends. They tend to say am a snob and I don't like associating with people because MAYBE I feel I am better.
—Guest anonymous

It was so bad...

I've had SAD for as long as I can remember. I'm making real progress now but sometimes I still get extremely scared whenever I walk down a street or get on a bus. It was worse when I was 12. I skipped tons of school because I was too scared of all the people that I didn't know. Still now, I'm scared to walk past a big window because I'm scared that people are watching me. My mum is deaf so she always needs me to make calls for her and doesn't understand that a lot of the time I'm scared of making and receiving phone calls. It's a struggle but I'm trying my hardest to keep moving on with my life even though I have relapses often.
—Guest angel

Dark Life

I can definitely understand what its like I'm a sophomore in high school and every day is a struggle just getting up out of bed in the morning. My anxiety got so bad that in 7th grade I decided to leave school now it's gotten better but it still feels the same every day
—Guest Ridge


I often feel like my friends and family don't actually like me and i can't figure out if they actually don't like me or it's all in my head. Im terrified people don't like me for who i am. Im constantly picking apart my conversations with people trying to figure out everything i said that could have been taken the wrong way.
—Guest Bailey

Can't breathe

I get so anxious most of the time and not even knowing why. Not being able to breathe is normal to me now. My heart rate is always higher than it should be. I hate new social places and meeting new people unless they are passing by. I find it hard to trust people and even harder giving them a chance not because I don't want to but because my anxiety is so strong that my hands shake and they might think I'm a drug addict. So I avoid social situations. I do socialize at work and feel fine there. Even though there are so many customers I deal with face to face I feel no anxiety, I guess coz I have uniform on but when I am just me on my day off, going to the shop on my own is my biggest challenge. I wish my heart would calm down and my hands would stop sweating and shaking. I feel that ' stranger-danger ' thing all the time and I am not a kid. Sigh
—Guest marly

I do live a sad life

I relate to some of these problems but i don't get sick . I feel like everyone is watching me and saying that i am ugly . I can't make eye contact when i speak with people . I can'heplace look at the mirror. Where can i get help ??? I live in South Africa in a small province of Limpopo


SAD has completely destroyed my life. Everyday is a miserable. I used to think what I thought was "shyness" would go away when I was younger, but it's only gotten worse with age. I can't even try to do any of the things I want with my life unless I want to humiliate myself
—Guest Ga

Will it change..?

"People" I'm actually starting to hate the word. I can relate to almost every post I've read on here. My head forces me to think they are talking about me, laughing about me, judging me, pointing at my flaws and giggling at my awkwardness. I try to hide my thoughts from becoming actions of weakness and act confident sometimes, but the effort it takes for me to do that drains me. My thoughts about myself and people are controlling me. It gets to the point where I start tripping over my own feet trying to walk normal like everyone else but I feel as if nothing I do will ever make people see me as human. I feel as if I'm from a different planet. When I'm out with my mum I need reassurance that people are not laugh or looking at me in a demeaning way. I could be in a room full of people and one alien but yet I'd still feel everyone would be talking and gossiping about me. Will this ever go away.I always make an idiot of myself somehow. I'm tired, sometimes I feel to leave earth behind
—Guest srh

its ok we are still normal :)

I think that we were all born with the ability to constantly seek the true thoughts and judgements that others have on us. I generally socialize myself into a space where i hate my friends, family, people and public. I have this habit of over-the-top casual socializing where i create such a fantastically popular persona that its expected everytime. Im like entertainment not genuinley accepted for just being a quiet observer. These social tricks helped me survive some things but my anxiety is too large to comprehend. It drains the life out of me and i react poorly to any medication. I hate noticing every tiny detail of my peers judgements.l, snarky comments and impolite behaviour suggesting im not of importance to them. I wish there was one who i could tolerate and not read too far into their cognitive attitudes towards me. I dont want friendships that give me a hardtime, or burdens me with extreme stress. The constant 'what if' creates such fear that my anxiety increases. Also noticed
—Guest anxstd

its ruining me

I can't even join clubs or sports anymore b/c everywhere I go I feel judged i can barley leave my house without being anxiety riddeled and nervous and I dont know what to do, I try soo hard everyday to look happy and outgoing just in fear of someone noticeing how nervous and jumpy i am everytime they talk & it hurts everday just too look okay when my friends make fun of me or joke with me, I can see my moms clear dissapiontment with me all the time when i choose to stay home in fear of everyone rather than go somewhere, & I try to read all those sites that tell me to try to be more outgoing and hang out with friends more and try going outside to the park or talking to somone about SAD to help me but .. dont they realize I CANT?!
—Guest Courtney

Do I have SAD?

I know there is something wrong with me, but I haven't quite figured out what. Depression or maybe SAD? From what I have read on this page I have found a lot of it to be very relatable. Everyone sees me as a very outgoing person, but I am completely the opposite. I question everything I say or do, or sometimes don't even do it or say it for the fear of the reaction. A lot of the time I feel like people are talking about me or laughing at me. I barely ever start a conversation, and I don't talk a lot, only to people I know really good. I even question if my friends are talking about me, it's horrible walking around and never feeling confident, always feeling like someone is talking about you. I never considered the possibility of having SAD until I came upon the website, but how do I tell someone I think I may have it, I'm scared to tell my parents because I'm scared they will laugh, I just need help!
—Guest Confused


Not sure if I do or not or who to talk to but I remember starting year one petrified I never spoke to anyone (I didn't know how too) I never had friends for long and spent my lunch times pretty much by myself I thought that nobody liked me and staying out of everyone's way was easier until I was 13 and in highschool I gained friends I didn't exactly trust them though. Now I am 23 and I still hate meeting strangers once I have met someone I constantly think to myself does he or she think I'm weird, or I'm an idiot why did I say that? They will definently hate me now. Often when I am found in a situation where I am not being spoken to I feel immensely uncomfortable like nobody likes me. What are they staring at, seriously feels like pressure building and building up from my feet my knuckles clench I don't know where to stand or if I should be standing what to look at who I should try and conversate with and exactly what to say. I don't know if this just means I'm shy?
—Guest Confused


Whenever I'm in class the teacher picked me to answer a question I start shaking and mess up a lot and feel like everyone is criticizing me. I push people away ALOT and no one ever listens to me. Whenever I'm with my "friends" I'm never good enough. Have to improve myself and EVERYWHERE everyone's looking at me and talking about me.
—Guest someone

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  6. Living With Social Anxiety Disorder - What People Should Know About Living With Social Anxiety Disorder

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