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  1. #1

    Gamers with Social Anxiety

    Right now my boyfriend is in our living room with his headset on, grouped up with others in SWTOR. Every time he does this, I become very sad and lonely. I have severe social anxiety to the point that I have never grouped with anyone in Lotro other than my boyfriend; I've been playing this game for 3 years. I *want* to socialize, more than I could ever put into words but .. just the mere thought of having to carry on a conversation in chat or through mic makes me shaky nervous. I'm not on meds because that stuff tends to cause more problems than they are worth, and awkward is part of who I am, not something I need to pop pills to alter. Times like now, however, I really wish I could just reach out and befriend someone in-game.

    I avoid people all the time, in real life and in-game. I've been known to log right out of the game when someone has approached me and started conversing (that's pathetic of me) because I got too nervous to handle it. Is there anyone else on this server or in this game who are dying to reach out and make friends but their social anxiety stops them dead in their tracks?

    On the show The Big Bang Theory they had a character, Raj's girlfriend, last season who's social anxiety was so bad she would climb out of bathroom windows to escape the panic feeling she endured when being around others. For once, I felt there was someone like me on tv that might help others understand what people like myself go through .. but they have not brought her back this season. I feel like I am in a sea of people, most don't even care that I exist and the few who do take a chance on me I bail on because I'm such a mess. They have no idea just how much a simple "hello" means to me, yet I reward them by running off.

    Anyone else out there going through this? I could really use someone to possibly talk to. This being said, if I don't come back to respond, please don't take it personally. I'm probably off in some little corner of Middle Earth crying tears of failure and loneliness.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    First... do you have a therapist? You need one. Don't assume I'm using some kind of hurtful or sarcastic tone when I say that. Talking this out with strangers isn't going to cut it... because that's exactly what you have an issue with. You need to meet and begin a relationship with a therapist, so you can get to the heart of this, and start to work out a routine to ease and eventually eliminate your anxiety.

    What puzzles me is why you haven't done this already?

    most don't even care that I exist and the few who do take a chance on me I bail on because I'm such a mess
    You need to stop yourself from thinking about things like this. Because you do have anxiety issues, you really can't trust your own judgement here. You don't have a clue as to whether or not people care about you. Your anxiety issues will make you incorrectly judge how people view you, and for the most part will make you come to negative conclusions based on incorrect assumptions... and those negative conclusions will favor you isolating yourself from them. So, you need to realize this.

    I'm not on meds because that stuff tends to cause more problems than they are worth, and awkward is part of who I am, not something I need to pop pills to alter.
    If you are going to self diagnose, you should at least attempt to be correct about it... rather than justifying a conclusion you would prefer to face. You aren't on meds because they cause more problems than they are worth? So... in other words... you don't believe that your social anxiety problems are worth solving? Nono... don't argue with that... let that sink in for a few minutes. You WANT to solve your social anxiety issues. You believe your anxiety issues are WORTH solving... yet you immediately dismiss the idea of taking medication because you ASSUME that all meds will create negative issues. If you honestly do want to solve this problem, then it is a problem worth solving... and that means if meds are recommended, you need to make the attempt to take them. Only AFTER you have tried a specific medication can you say whether or not it is worth it. Even then, if one medication doesn't provide relief you can live with, there are others. You will never know until you try.

    Also... Awkward is part of who you are? Again, this is justification. Awkward is NOT part of who you are. Your social anxiety makes you awkward, and you are expressing a desire to eliminate that social anxiety... which would in turn either make you far less awkward or it would eliminate the awkwardness altogether. Again, you are justifying your fears and searching for reasons to shore them up.

    You need to let go of these preconceived notions, and go see a therapist. You need to be completely honest with your therapist, and you need to put your trust and health in their hands. What they say that you need to do, you need to follow through with.
    Last edited by bongart; Oct 19 2013 at 04:21 PM.

  3. #3
    As a 18 year sufferer of Social and generalized anxiety, do what bongart says, get yourself a therapist. They are a very useful resource although it may take a few months to find the right one. The reason this is important is because as we age, we get set in our ways and never learn how to cope with the events in our lives due to the disorder. This was especially bad in my 20s because I just didn't understand the problem.

    I wouldn't be so quick to disregard certain medications to help you. I take a low dose of Xanax to take the edge off on an as needed basis. For me, busy malls, restaurants, concerts, conferences, etc would make me want to run and hide. Granted, I will never public speak (which is my all time worst fear) but at least I can lead a meeting or something along those lines now at work...which is progress and something I couldn't dream of doing 10 years ago.

    I'm the same way with games, I struggle with group content and voice programs like vent or TS. Seek a therapist and take a step at a time. They will do behavioral therapy with you and a good therapist will make you feel very comfortable. Of course, this will take some time but is definitely worth it. Unraveling the brain and how we think does take time to restructure some of our oldest habits.

    Good luck to you

  4. #4
    I have little to add except this. There are some gaming headsets that can disguise a person's voice. That may make you feel a little less exposed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    18
    I've had social anxiety all my life without knowing it. Just two or three years ago I realized there was actually a name for my strange behavior.

    Don't listen to those who tell you to take medication, that doesn't solve anything. It may help for a short time, but in the end it only makes everything worse.

    This game has helped me to escape my isolation, because I don't have to talk and I can roleplay as my character, not as myself.
    I actually made some friends here and have even met them in person. But since you have a boyfriend, I'd say you're already far ahead of me.
    So don't worry too much. You're not alone.
    Last edited by Raskantir; Mar 20 2014 at 11:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bongart View Post
    .... snip ....
    You Sir are treading a very slippery slope. This is not the place for advice as you would wish to give. You know not the specifics of this Patient or their complete medical history, you know not what therapy and medications had been prescribed, or how the Patient has responded up to this point... a single or even a few forum posts are not enough to effect a proper diagnosis. None of us here could possibly know these things.

    Your intentions are good, yes, but this is not the place.
    Last edited by gardavil; Oct 28 2013 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    6,021
    Never ever feel that you need to explain yourself in a video game. Be proud of who you are and that you have an awesome boyfriend. Ever have issues w/ anyone let me know I'll handle it for you Alzie.. I believe everyone plays this game to escape something in reality , for me its the stress of my disease I have .. I have multiple sclerosis and other things.
    Others it may be financial reason, may be anxiety , may be stress of the real world getting to them, many reasons as to why . I knew a guy in game w/ a toddler dying from brain cancer. You never know what the person behind the screen is dealing with , people shouldn't judge anyone. I learned long ago to develop a thicker skin as far as dealing with the ones that like to tear another down. Stay strong and keep playing.

    Also if you ever need help , my kin is not elitist and we never judge. We just like to have fun we can help you run anything and you will never have to be afraid we're gonna question anything just let me know ahead of time.
    alzie rank 15 mini
    "less talky, more killy"
    "kill fast , run faster!"
    The Apocalypse Kinship Elendilmir
    Antisocialnetworking brandywine

    Teddibara beorning Brandywine
    alzeria rank 15 mini renamed Brandywine

 

 

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