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Hi Everyone,
I have anxiety that is brought on by social interaction, but for some reason I do not fit the “mold” of someone with social anxiety. Most resources say those with social anxiety are shy, have trouble speaking in public, and have trouble speaking their minds. Yes, I would describe myself as “shy,” but I find public speaking easier than talking to someone one-on-one. I also tend to say everything I’m thinking, no matter how offensive it is.

When I am around people, I get angry, confused and suspicious. When I pass someone in the hallway of my apartment building, I feel extremely angry at this person for some how “violating my personal space,” even though I am aware this anger is irrational.

The worst part of my day is getting in the elevator at work because I hate being confined in an enclosed space with a stranger who may turn around and try to talk to me. My usual response is to say nothing and just look angry and unapproachable. Luckily, I have a job that requires very little interaction with others, but just having people around me causes anxiety and anger. By the end of the day, I am so on edge I need to go home, lock myself up in my apartment and drink.

I do have some friends. I have a few work colleagues I enjoy talking to, but I only talk to them. Apparently this confuses other co-workers because I seem so relaxed around a handful of people but can’t even say so “hello” to them. Is this some kind of selective-mutism?

I wasn’t always like this. When I was a kid I was very outgoing and trusting of others. However, I had a mother who distrusted strangers and would get angry at me for approaching people. No doubt, this is where my whole dilemma began.

Is there anyone out there who can relate or provide some insight? The only diagnosis I’ve ever received was “anxiety & depression.” But this seems a bit banal and doesn’t really help me.

Thanks,
Matthew





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