A question about (social) anxiety

I have been socially anxious since my early teens but perversely as i have been less acutely ill and more aware i think i my (social) anxiety has increased. I wonder what other posters experience is. Does increased insight/self awareness mean increased (social) anxiety?

Im not sure about that one but what I do know is that social anxiety support groups help. Im a member of one in my hometown and it has helped. I feel that more insight can only help but then Im not sure.

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I was ADHD Hyperactive-impulsive type when I was a little little kid. I had no concept of personal boundaries. I was always jumping, chattering, taking my cloths off, (when you 5 it might be cute, when your 11 not so much) I was always touching people and doing a lot of inappropriate things.

But I was really happy and friendly. Then I decided to ruin what was left of my brain with illegal drugs which slowed me down but still didn’t help with not doing inappropriate things. Plus my kid sis was born and I now had to fight off kidnappers. So I was down right paranoid of all other humans.

I got forced into rehab, and with out the alcohol or drugs, I really shut down then. Then I was in fact very afraid of people and very self loathing. I was really sure I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t acceptable enough to be around other people.

I still have that anxiety of going into a social setting. But I’ve been trying to work on it.

The more insight I’ve had into this illness, the more shy about being around people I’ve become. What if I hit a glitch in public, or scare someone? Or embarrass my kid sis in public by not being able to keep it together?

So I guess insight has increased anxiety. But I am trying to beat it and my kid sis swears over and over that she’s never been embarrassed by me. So I am trying to get better.

When i was acutely/more ill i never used to consider whether people thought i was odd or not. Now i worry about facial and physical mannerisms, whether i am giving off signs of being out of sync.

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I think I’m the same way. When I was out of my head… I was out of my head and didn’t think about others. I wasn’t even sure if others were real, so why worry.

But now I do try much harder to keep it together. I do try and not come off as totally out there. I am lucky, I have a sis who will deflect a lot of attention off of me.

The other night, we were out some where with a cousin and my head circus was getting loud. I was having a hard time concentrating and I was feeling very unattached to my body, my voices were starting to chatter, I could feel some of my anxiety amp up. I wasn’t doing well.

My sis could see I was starting to slip so she told everyone at the table it was her who was slipping.

“Sorry cousin, I’m loosing my energy fast, I’m so exhausted and I have to be up so early tomorrow. I know J has more energy then I do, but he’s my ride.” She paid our bit of the bill and we left.

It makes it easier for me when I have some help.


I think insight can make you feel like you are pretending to be normal- for the longest time, I felt bitter about recovery because I was in the process of recovery but I had to pretend to be normal and flat out ignore hallucinations and delusions, I would forget what conversations were about, ect.

What I mean is, it’s a burden to be in the process of recovery because you begin to force yourself to do normal people things like socialize when you’re still symptomatic.

I remember hating myself for the first half of my recovery. Now I am fully recovered and I just feel like an old man or something, Im only 20 but I feel like I have seen, heard and believed things that no one else ever will…I sometimes feel worn out from the whole thing, the slow descent into madness, the deep submersion in it, and then the slow emergence back to reality, it all kind of damaged me. I don’t really have social anxiety because I have been to hell, I am not afraid of much, I am actually sometimes reckless, for example, I often push myself really hard while lifting weights and am sore for up to a week afterwards. I just don’t fear anything except my own brain.

I was very extroverted before my onset and I remember my social skills, so I pass as sociable and all that. I do tell new friends about my condition, though. Usually people can see that I am recovered and taking my meds and dont think of me as a psycho but instead see me as one of those stereotypical persons with a dark past. I’m the kid who wears all black, is muscular and has a military haircut and used to be raving mad but is now a mellow psychology student who smokes lots of cigarettes and drinks lots of coffee. Im like a comic book character or something, LOL

However, I still function very highly and have friends see them all of the time. Sometimes I just want to go to sleep, and I often do just stop whatever I am doing and just nap on the couch to get away from everything for a couple of hours. You could say that I am traumatized and psychologically fatigued from what the last two years have done to me. I went all the way down into psychosis can came all the way back up to reality again.

But I just ended up ranting again. What I mean to say is yes, insight can make you more self conscious and therefore fuel social anxiety- you are aware of your flaws and are afraid of them being noticed my others. I used to feel like that, exactly like that. I find that to be a stage in recovery, however- to function socially but feel uncomfortable while doing so- it was in the beginning of my recovery. I wish you the best of luck!

I get anxious in social situations. But it is getting better. I force myself to be social. It’s like trowing yourself in a pool of cold water. It hurts like hell to begin with, but then you get used to it.

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I was soooo painfully shy growing up that my face turned bright red if someone ever asked me a question directly. There was no possibility in any answer coming out of my mouth, and people avoided me thinking I was retarded or worse.
Oh I so wanted to be able to not care about how I looked to others, but I froze up with fear and reverted back into isolation when any form of socializing was expected. I really began to feel felt that being socially acceptable wasn’t for me like it was for everyone else.
I happened to catch a PBS show, a documentary on Human sexuality when I lived at home-so I was under 20years at the time.
This was a fascinating documentary on the science of attracting a mate, and the science of what the subtle signs the body produces when being around the opposite sex. It showed that it didn’t matter as much how you looked to someone as it was how you reacted with them that made them attracted to you, and if there would be anything more to come from the interaction.
Wow, my thinking sure changed in how I presented myself when I realized there is no “pass or fail” with being accepted in society and I was no different from the masses.
I learned to relax, accept life, and roll with the situation. It took some practice, but today, I have no trouble being the first to smile and strike up a conversation with a stranger, and come away with a new friend.
Being eccentric is no longer a liability, but a valuable asset in today’s shallow society.
Be proud of who you are today, but don’t forget to relax and enjoy life in the process.


Im aware now my social anxiety is not present around pure individuals, non judgemental and not so pushy people im fine around and i can talk to easily.

The darker ones though i don’t enjoy talking to at all, call it social anxiety if you want but that is bullshyte.

Social anxiety is horseshyte, who could talk to most of these people anyway?

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for me i think it is the opposite .
take care

I am more social among familiar people I trust, like certain family members. If there is one ounce of mistrust or fear, i will completely clam up


i don’t have social anxiety thank god

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Been experiencing social anxiety when at mall, out and about, even at home because of negative voices. They are really cruel and call me all sorts of names. I’ve become very self conscious and nervous and i become very depressed. I feel like i don’t have any privacy, the voices are there 24-7. They make me feel ugly, unwanted, unitelligent. How can someone like me if they knew of my intrusive thoughts. One young female voice calls me a freak constantly.

My case manager say that my social anxiety is strong and I need to do some work to help myself up,I really would like a life without being anxious alot


My son has a lot of social anxiety. Is that a hallmark of sz? He has not been diagnosed officially. Therapist says I should try to get him out among others as much as possible. Today he was in outpatient treatment and when he was done with the 5 1/2 hour day, he said he felt disconnected and strange. What can help with this type of anxiety?

  1. Social anxiety in psychosis

Social anxiety is among the most prevalent and debilitating affective disturbances manifest in people with psychosis (Pallanti et al, 2004; Mazeh et al, 2009; Michail & Birchwood, 2009). In a recent study by Michail & Birchwood (2009), social anxiety was diagnosed in 25% of people with first-episode psychosis (FEP). In addition to the 25% with an ICD-10 diagnosis of SaD, there was also a further 11.6 % who reported clear social interaction difficulties and/or signs of avoidance not sufficient though to reach formal diagnostic criteria. Social anxiety is usually accompanied by high levels of depression (Michail & Birchwood, 2009; Birchwood et al, 2007) and leads to significant social disability (Voges & Addington, 2005), lower quality of life (Pallanti et al, 2004) and poorer prognosis as it raises the possibility of an early relapse (Gumley, 2007).

Despite the high prevalence and its debilitating nature, social anxiety has not been extensively investigated and the processes that underlie its emergence in psychosis remain unclear. The relationship between social anxiety and positive psychotic symptoms, particularly paranoia, is yet to be clarified. Particularly, it is not clear whether the development and maintenance of social anxiety in psychosis is simply driven by paranoia and persecutory beliefs.

In my case social anxiety,or what would now be called social anxiety(there was no such dx in the early 70s), occurred 4 years before receiving a first diagnosis of schizophrenia(changed over time to schizoaffective and then paranoid personality) and 2.5 years before receiving any psychiatric treatment.
My experience is the paranoia and social anxiety feed off each other.

Some research has tried to show that the social anxiety in those with psychosis is related to shame. http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/viewpoints/publications/Social_anxiety_and_he_shame_of_psychosis.pdf

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