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Old 10-22-09, 08:31 PM   #1
aeiadart
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My social anxiety

Hey guys.

For the last 5-6 years ive been suffering from a bad case of social anxiety or social phobia. Basically i get very nervous when im around people that im not 100 percent comfortable with. I feel like people are watching me alot and it has completly changed who i am and how i percieve things and situations. I tried going on medication for it (Paxil is the devil)but it only made things worse. It has made me avoid way to many day to day events and activities which in the past i had no problem with involving myself in and i actually used to look forward to what i now avoid at any cost. I havent been in school for 2 years now ( im 20 years old) and people are starting to think im nothing but a **** up. I had 2 jobs for only 2 weeks before i quit becuase of how nervous i got in the work environment. Now To my QUESTION lolz What do you guys recommend as a job that would require as little human communication as possible. I know this sounds pathetic but i really need to find a job that im comfortable with so i can waste all my money on bike parts and stuff i dont need. I was thinking maybe a mail man but arent those jobs hard to get? Or even a bridge toll guy but ive heard those jobs are harder to get than mail jobs Im really at a point in my life where i feel kind of lost and need some direction.
If anyone can give me some input on the job situation i would greatly appreciate it.

God Bless

B
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Old 10-22-09, 08:47 PM   #2
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I worked as a kennel attendant, after the initial training there wasn't much
human interaction and the dogs were really happy to get any kind of attention.
Toll collectors do nothing but interact with people all day.
If you can get work as a welder you automatically get a certain degree of privacy
because the your work area will be unpleasant for anyone not wearing the right protective gear.
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Old 10-22-09, 08:55 PM   #3
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Maybe something like a truck driver? You'd be by yourself most of the time.

You can check for jobs at the post office here.

If your anxiety is keeping you from going to a regular school, have you thought about online schools? They offer all sorts of degree programs.
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Old 10-22-09, 09:00 PM   #4
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take my job, please

(ba-dum-CRASH!)
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Old 10-22-09, 09:03 PM   #5
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I would not suggest a government job if you don't like being watched.
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Old 10-22-09, 09:07 PM   #6
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aeia, you're still awfully young, I think you lack confidence and probably worry to much what others think of you. This will pass. I used to care a lot more about such things, now I just don't give a damn. I get nervous around people I don't know terribly well (especially attractive single men, I start babbling like a 15 year old and don't realize it.)

I started college again at 35 years of age, I could not have done this at your age, I would have been TERRIFIED.
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Old 10-22-09, 10:16 PM   #7
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What you need is a job where you do the work and a front man does the customer contact. Some jobs are "contract basis" jobs where you aren't an employee and can work at home on a "per job" understanding.

Look into:
Mechanical Engineer/consultant
Architect
Draftsman
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Old 10-22-09, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeiadart View Post
Hey guys.

For the last 5-6 years ive been suffering from a bad case of social anxiety or social phobia. Basically i get very nervous when im around people that im not 100 percent comfortable with. I feel like people are watching me alot and it has completly changed who i am and how i percieve things and situations. I tried going on medication for it (Paxil is the devil)but it only made things worse. It has made me avoid way to many day to day events and activities which in the past i had no problem with involving myself in and i actually used to look forward to what i now avoid at any cost. I havent been in school for 2 years now ( im 20 years old) and people are starting to think im nothing but a **** up. I had 2 jobs for only 2 weeks before i quit becuase of how nervous i got in the work environment. Now To my QUESTION lolz What do you guys recommend as a job that would require as little human communication as possible. I know this sounds pathetic but i really need to find a job that im comfortable with so i can waste all my money on bike parts and stuff i dont need. I was thinking maybe a mail man but arent those jobs hard to get? Or even a bridge toll guy but ive heard those jobs are harder to get than mail jobs Im really at a point in my life where i feel kind of lost and need some direction.
If anyone can give me some input on the job situation i would greatly appreciate it.

God Bless

B
Have you tried talking to a mental health therapist? It might do some good. There's a reason you feel like this and even just talking to someone might help.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:14 AM   #9
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Since you mentioned you took Paxil, it sounds like you already have already sought some professional diagnosis, so I have to ask if you followed up with them or got a second opinion from another therapist when that didn't help? It may be that spending time with a therapist discussing and learning about your social fears may get at the root more effectively than assuming they're due to a chemical imbalance.

As far as jobs, I'm not sure as little human interaction as possible really is the best approach. I would expect (although I'm no professional), that it would be very important to have opportunities to maintain relationships that your comfortable with so they can guide you out of your box, so to speak. In other words, a job where the interactions you have don't change dramatically or quickly. You mentioned toll bridge operator. That is a hard job to get, but it made think of a toll booth attendant. Such a person sees lots of people each day, but need interact very little with them. Each one pays and goes on their way.

Have you ever tried working on a nursery or small farm? I think those also might be good options to explore. High volume production farms might be more stress than you want, but in a more relaxed atmosphere, physical work can be quite satisfying.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:49 AM   #10
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Stocking shelves
Groundskeeper
Truck driver
Surveyor
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Old 10-23-09, 01:58 AM   #11
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I missed being a motocycle tech, you work in the back with one other person. You get to talk to yourself and listen to music.

jobmonkey.com is a good place to look for left field jobs.
I found a job working on a fishing boat in alaska.

or get paid to transport rv's across country. someone has to drive them.

worse comes to worse, join the military.
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Old 10-23-09, 02:25 AM   #12
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Night Shift I.T. Data Center Drone would be the perfect job for you. Very little human interaction... None if you get the Weekends Night shift, which is the defacto entry point for any DCA noob.
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Old 10-23-09, 02:26 AM   #13
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Strange as it might seem, have you tried to do the opposite? I used to have a similar problem, perhaps not as severe but bad enough. But, life events ended up with me being involved in situations where there were lots of people, for short times. Like public speaking.

I don't know if they still exist, but there was an organization called Toastmasters (just checked, they do exist!) dedicated to public speaking.

In other words, instead of retreating, jump forward. Then, the normal situations will not bother you, at least it worked for me.
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Old 10-23-09, 05:46 AM   #14
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Yes. My first wife had that same phobia..We eventually got a divorce.
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Old 10-23-09, 05:54 AM   #15
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Fence line rider at a really big ranch.

Now that the funny is out of the way, seek help. Life is too short to go through it dealing with unresolved issues. No man is an island. You cannot do it all on your own. There are people and programs out there to help you. If you have insurance. call them and ask if they have a list of mental health providers in your area. If not, call a local charity and ask them for advice, direction. Call your county or city health department, but seek help. You deserve to be happy and healthy.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 10-23-09, 05:56 AM   #16
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Nice ray of sunshine there, cz.
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Old 10-23-09, 06:41 AM   #17
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You can be an embalmer...then you only have to interact with dead people.
BTW, you are not paranoid...I HAVE been watching you for many years.

Seriously...the suggestion of truck driver, specifically an OTR driver, is a good one.
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Old 10-23-09, 07:59 AM   #18
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I have this same condition with a few 'percs'. I was stuck in my house, hiding inside a closet for over six months before I had enough. I had a bottle of Xanax in one hand, a case of warm Sprite and a telephone to talk to people. I finally decided that I couldn't do that anymore. I started to reach out a little at a time. Eventually I was okay just being in the room. I move on to another room and would go between the two. I finally was comfortable to roam the house. That was twelve years ago. My girlfriend at the time and I wanted to split up BUT she never thought I would leave her because I never went outside although I had already progressed to taking out the garbage and sitting in the yard for a few hours unless it was dark out. One day I had everything packed and I left on my Trek mountain bike with a backpack full of Sprite, my Xanax and a guitar. I rode about a mile to a friends house where I was going to be living. After just one day there I went to a furniture store and got a job as an assembler. I got to liking being around people but I still had bad days. Eventually I became a sales associate and I actually used my nervous energy to become the best salesman in the store. My current girlfriend and I moved several miles away and I got a new job. I was a salesman and a fitness center and left that to become a waiter. As far as those jobs got, I was the number one sales person in the fitness center but had a falling out with my boss so I became a waiter. I waited tables for three years, now remember this is from someone who wouldn't even leave a closet at the beginning. When we got a new manager who was a real jerk and I had put up with him for almost a year and the fact that the GF and I were going to move about a mile down the road and I was stressed about being 'SO' far from my house that I got into an argument with the new manager and told him that I thought he was an idiot and he sent me home. I never went back and now I work at the McDonald's about a quarter mile down the road. I have some bad days even now BUT I heard a saying just a couple of weeks ago, 'Fear and Doubt will cripple you'. No one knows what you are going through or what I am going through. Only you know what you are capable of. I have died a thousand deaths in my 42 years of life, every time I have to leave my house I die. I am stronger than anyone I know. You are just as strong. You can do this, you know it and I believe you can too. Just take baby steps. I have made it to a point where I can go to the grocery store about a mile away, it seems so damn far but I do it about half of the time I try until I let Fear and Doubt get in my way. What I would suggest doing is going to a store with a stopwatch, don't set the amount of time you are going to be in there, just time how long you are in there. Walk around if you can, count to 100 by 3's to keep your mind busy. count from 100 to zero by sevens, do whatever it takes. I text people while i walk around to stay busy when I'm out. I can work ten hours a day now, but I am still scared when I am on my way to work and sometimes on the way home. BUT I DO IT. Because of my illness, I don't travel in cars because I want to be in control so I ride a bike and I can turn anyway I want at any time. I am in as much control as I want to be. PM me if you EVER need to talk, I will give you my number if you are ble to text and I will talk you through anything you need, at anytime.

Believe in nothing but yourself.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:06 AM   #19
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As others have said, you should try therapy. There's a reason for your discomfort and a trained professional will help you find and cure it. Medication is only a temporary fix but can get your through the tough times. Paxil may not work with you but there are lots of others.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeiadart View Post
What do you guys recommend as a job that would require as little human communication as possible.
Customer Service for a cell phone company?
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Old 10-23-09, 10:50 AM   #21
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i had similar feelings before - not 100% comfy around others, being shy, the quiet guy in the room, etc. i started drinking and partying more and more and, for me atleast, the way i behave when im drunk was the complete opposite than when i was sober - i would talk to everyone, laugh a lot, share stories/jokes/etc.

i honestly think drinking helped me overcome that feeling. i got drunk often enough to now feel that way when im sober

*** im talking about 5-6 drinks at parties, not sitting at home with a bottle of JD and a straw.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:13 AM   #22
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A combination of talk therapy and probably trying another antidepressant like Zoloft.

Get a job, as was mentioned, doing the opposite of what you want. Get a job working with the public and force yourself to work on these issues. At your age I was dealing with a similar situation. It isn't easy and it's hard for other folks to understand. But you will eventually get to the point where you don't care what other people think..part of that is just growing older and part of it is just step by step working on what's limiting you and gradually getting better.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:21 AM   #23
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And I would seek a professional that DOESN'T want to drug you as the first option.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:31 AM   #24
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I second all the comments about getting therapy. For most of the jobs listed, you still need to go to school. You need to deal with your social anxiety first, above all things. Drugs are only an assist to talk therapy.

Also white feather - what you have sounds more like agoraphobia than social anxiety. Congratulations to you on overcoming your fears, and keep up the good work. It is a difficult thing to do on your own.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:39 AM   #25
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I used to be really quiet too, I'd get nervous and tense up with new people even making phone calls. I didn't start to come around until after college, so don't feel like you're too old to work on it and change. Just practice. Try riding a crowded train or just go to a coffee shop (decaf? ) with a book, headphones, etc. just somewhere that makes you a little nervous.

Keep in mind that theres a good chance you'll never see these people ever again (especially if you go somewhere outside your usual area), so they're just for practice, its no big deal if you do something a little awkward. Pay attention to your breathing and if your muscles feel tensed up? sometimes a couple deep breaths will help calm you down. I think you'll find that you get used to this and eventually its no big deal. Once you're more comfortable around random people, work on some idle chit chat, even just saying hello, have a nice day, etc.
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