Gave in to social anxiety

My brother was having a birthday party for his girlfriend and invited me to go.

I have schizophrenia and social anxiety. I can barely now make it to the grocery store once a week. I used to get them delivered via peapod.

Am I a dirtbag for not attending? I said I would go but as the night wore on I just got more anxious. I tired taking 1 ativan but it hasn’t really helped.



I missed my brother’s wedding. So don’t feel bad. SAD is a difficult disorder to deal with. Don’t let it get you down. If you could have gone, you would have.


No, you need to take care of yourself. Your not a dirtbag :wink:


You are definitely not a dirtbag. It is tough when you want to do something and your anxiety does not allow you to, especially social get togethers.


I’m already trying to think of how I can get out of going to an upcoming family gathering with my husband’s family. I love them all, but I’m dreading being there… We’re not dirtbags. We’re not interested in hurting anyone. It’s very difficult sometimes and impossible other times, period. Knowing our limits is very important. Staying emotionally/psychologically safe has to be our priority.


Anxiety caused by being around strange people is very real. You’re not a bad person if you are limiting your exposure for health reasons. I’d say you’re doing the right things for the right reasons.


Well, if your family knows about your two diagnosis’s than I am sure they will understand. It was very nice of your brother to invite you by the way, it’s good to have a brother like that. I agree with everyone here. You are not a dirt bag because you did not go. It would be nice if you would have gone, socializing is very good for us and has many benefits.

Anyway, I don’t want to give you bad advice but in my case, I get invited to do
things with my family and sometimes I don’t want to go because I build it up in my head that it’s going to be some big huge, scary deal. I dread it and I think I can’t do it, but if I force myself to go I often find that it is almost never as bad as I thought it would be and afterward I feel really proud of myself for going, and that makes me feel good. You may be the same way.

Don’t beat yourself up for not going, it’s just one party, you’ll probably have other chances in the future to practice your social skills. If you are on good terms with the girlfriend than I think it would be good to send her a birthday card and wish her a happy birthday and say you’re sorry that you couldn’t attend but you hope she enjoyed her party. A small gift would be good too. It’s just a good thing to do, it’s very friendly and it shows you that you are considerate. It will make her feel good and it will make you feel good too. It’s a very good thing to do.


Thanks for understanding. I think 77nick77 has a good point. I did obsess over it and likely made it worse than it would have been. I was afraid it would be a large party with lots of people but it looks like it was only a few people I know.

Next time I need to man up and go.


I missed my sisters wedding about ten year ago. But I was just out of hospital
But I made it to brothers wedding
I take seroxat which has always helped

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Cbt works
The feel good handbook is worth a read

Yeah, that ties in with what I said before. When you say that there was only a few people it makes my point too. When I force myself to go places I often discover that there is invariably some positive thing that makes me glad I went or something that makes it not so bad as I thought it would be.

Example: someone I was dreading seeing doesn’t show up. Or maybe I meet someone who likes me. Or a very pretty girl attends who I can stare at, lol. Or there’s good food. Or it turns out that everybody is friendly and no one bothers me. Or I learn something valuable. Or maybe there’s large amount of people but then it turns out that it is OK if I relax by myself in another room or it turns out that I can just sit in the living room with just two or three people and not have to face the whole crowd at once.

Or I discover that people who I thought were perfect at socializing are as shy as me and they actually are not as social as me. Any one of these, or any combination of these make it worth forcing myself to go and make me want to socialize more.


I have this book checked out from the library that reminded me of this thread. I haven’t read it yet, but I read parts a few years back and it was enough to make me check it out a second time.
I have a bad memory so I can read stuff and forget what I read, but I usually remember whether it was worth checking it out or not.

I am dealing with social stuff right now, too. Mostly, how my few friends on facebook wonder why I get so few likes on posts…one in-person friend actually broached the subject with me. Didn’t know how to respond so I admitted I didn’t add people very often.

[social skills training for schizophrenia by Bellack, Muesser, et al]

Oh god, that’s why I deleted my other account. People comparing likes, I make a political and interesting post I have zero likes, a friend takes another selfie of herself, 180 likes. Who cares anyway? Don’t let yourself get bummed out because of it, that’s how it is.

And @bobbox1980, you did well not going, Nick’s advice is good, send her a card and a gift with a kind and brief explanation and she’ll get it.


I’ve ducked out of a lot of gatherings because of my anxiety. For the most part my life consists of a short walk to the day treatment center at 8:00 am, and then a short walk back later in the day. We go to town once a week. We occassionally go on outings. There’s a festival not far away in the spring. Also, when everyone gets their income tax rebate we go on another outing - a movie and out to eat. For me, it’s not a bad life. I always know what to expect. Socializing outside that context scares me. I fortify myself with beer when I do that. I’ve always drank alcohol to get over social anxiety. I can relate very well to skipping social gatherings. I try not to do it too much, but sometimes I have to.

Is it day 100 already? :slight_smile:

It is! This is the longest I have been sober in a long time.


Good! I’m happy for you crimby :slight_smile:

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It had nothing to do with being a man. It was about helping yourself and taking calculated risks. Save your manhood for the real tests that are sure to come.

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Ur not a dirtbag for not wanting to go because of anxiety. Period. Thats actually quite compassionate for urself to realize and acknowledge it.