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My only experience of voluntary work

It was a few months after my 1st admission in 1975. It was to help out going round hospital wards with the hospital library service. It was not a good experience . I felt very anxious. I really struggled with the human interaction part of it . I lasted a week or so.

I am tempted to say my greatest anxiety/fear and barrier re having a job has always been due to my communication difficulties and severe social anxiety . Closely followed by difficulty showing initiative in non leisure situations. I’d call it ‘What should I do now?’ syndrome .

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I think a way to calm oneself down in social settings is that nobody expects you to do something extra for them. If you don’t want to or don’t feel like interacting with someone more than the bare minimal or “the must”, then that isn’t really a problem, because nobody expects that beforehand.

A friend or family might expect more, but then usually you are more relaxed around them and it is easier to interact.

I too have felt what you are talking about, luckily I am more at ease now, but still no social wonder, and I never will be. But I’m not so intimidated by social settings any more.

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