Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Social Anxiety?

My son has always had social anxiety, even when he was very, very young, and way before any sign of psychosis showed up. No matter what meds he takes or doesn’t take, the social anxiety is always there - sometimes better, sometimes worse. It’s the big reason we never hospitalized him early on - we thought that being around that many people would be torture for him.

Anyone have the same kind of thing going on? Does anything help?

I don’t have schizophrenia, but I do have social anxiety and nothing has worked. I don’t think there’s a magical pill that can alter your personality. Anxiety meds usually just relax a person or slowly change their thoughts by them not worrying about a certain thing or a plethora. The medication may relax you, but will not turn you into a social person or increase your desire to be around or communicate with those around you.


The weird thing is that I’m not very social, but I don’t have social anxiety.
I’m just introverted, and I like being alone for the most part.

So, I’m not pushing him into being a social person. I’d just like him to feel more comfortable so he can function.
Even going into a store, or riding in the car, can amp up his anxiety.

And, I don’t think it’s that he’s introverted. I think he’s pretty lonely and he worries too much about what other people think. Like he has no emotional skin when it comes to that kind of thing.

As an introvert, I don’t care what others think. In fact, it doesn’t often cross my mind that people think anything about me. I pretty much live in an illusion that if I don’t talk to people, I could pretty much go about my day with no one paying any attention to me at all, almost as if I was invisible.

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My son is exactly like yours, slw. He’s always had social anxiety. All the way through school and still has it to extremes. It’s very sad because I think he’s very lonely. It’s been my number one mission, to find a way for him to meet a friend or two, but I just can’t figure out how. They would have to be anti-social and pretty low functioning for them to hang out though. He would never go to a group therapy or volunteer or a church function or join a bowling league or anything of the kind. My son too worries too much about what other people think of him or he’ll rethink everything he did and wonder what they thought of this or that. It’s very sad really. He’s the most comfortable at home with me. I just can’t except this as his future. He’s only 24.


I’m introverted too, but I’m more like him. Perhaps getting him into a club or some kind of group would be beneficial for him as he gets used to the same people over and over again. Then he could slowly become more excitable about meeting other people and comfortable with them.

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My daughter has sz and suffers from social anxiety. The social anxiety was recognised when she was about 3 years old, the sz developed when she was 15. She’s now 29. We tried getting her involved in social groups, going out for drinks with people her own age, but it didn’t work.

Putting social anxiety to one side for a moment, imagine, for some reason, you have to move to a different country with your spouse. You don’t work so you can’t find automatic acquaintances there. How would
you find new friends?

For my daughter, it came down to interests and hobbies. Among other things, she loves sci-fi, dancing, and art. Because she is passionate about these things, she more readily accepted the idea of talking to others about them.

Over a period of many years she’s joined a gaming group, taken dance lessons, and joined a life art class. Each time she has made new friends and boosted her social life. She still communicates with a lot of people she met. She’s also very keen to find a boyfriend and is trying online dating. It’s ok, but there are quite a few strange and desperate guys out there. She’s become good at filtering out the bad ones and every date is a new social event for her.

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Ditto!! I’m exactly the same way!!

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I can relate to most of that.
What people THINK of me is just in their heads, and thoughts in other people’s heads have no effect on my life or my daily activities.

As a introvert, i can be very quiet during a conversation with a few friends. They can talk all they want, but I can be very comfortable being silent and still enjoy my friends’ presence and their emotions which they express.

How do you experience the social anxiety?

I currently have no friends. I distance myself from people who try to get close to me because I know we’re just going to end up to different in all ways or I feel no connection. I avoid going out if I can. The only thing I go out for is checking the mail, doctor’s appointments, or grocery shopping. All my other shopping I do online. I have Aspeger’s Syndrome (High-Functionig in the Autism Spectrum), so I don’t normally enjoy small talk. I avoid looking at people in the eye, it physically hurts to look at them in the eye or smile. I seem pretty normal to most people because I’ve studied how to elevate my vocal tones or lower them to the appropriate situation, but they just think I’m shy and reserved, and of course, quite awkward. I’ve had panic attacks while grocery shopping or on the bus, where I just freeze or need to get off immediately, but luckily my fiancé is usually with me. I dread when people come to me, which is quite often since I look like an intelligent, innocent, helpful person, all of which I am, but it makes me uncomfortable to speak to strangers. I don’t know how to continue conversations very well with people, eventually all the topics get discussed and there’s nothing else to talk about that’s interesting or any emotional connection to them (speaking of friends). I’m not close to family either and the love I had for my mom as a child was lost because she was abusive my whole life and never let me speak. My anxiety is/was so bad that I had selective mutism in 6th and 7th grade partially. People would make fun of me all the time because I stuttered up until high school and then I trained myself to speak better. I went to speech therapy as a kid once recommended by psychologist who diagnosed me when I was three, but my mom didn’t take me anymore because she thought I would just grow out of it. I still struggle with putting thoughts into words verbally, but I’m excellent at writing so most of the friends I had were online friends. I feel okay not having any friends because that way no one bothers me and I don’t have to worry about anyone and my fiancé makes up for the hole of not having anyone. I feel desolate about it sometimes though because I think about things I wanted to do with and how embarrassing it would be to not have one friend or family members at my wedding because of the disconnect. I’ve never been on par with people my age, they’ve always said I’ve been more mature than anyone my age. I once wrote an essay in 7th grade pretending to be a University student in my 2nd year and the teacher sent it and I actually passed as a university student to that school. I wish I could understand people and why they like the things they like or like to talk about the things they like to talk about that I find so bleak and shallow. I have tried to though, very hard to fit in, yet I’ve never really succeeded. All people have ever seen me is as an overly nice or intelligent person as I’ve tried. At least I was pretty enough and intelligent that all the guys in my high school wanted to date me, lol! The other day though, I managed to have a full conversation with my driver about nails and bruises and I suggested two products for her. I’ve observed that the instant you compliment someone a conversation is started; but you don’t want to overdo it, just very light complimenting to begin a subject. Also if you ask questions to people about themselves, but not creepy ones like, “Where do you live?” I haven’t gone to a mall since 8 years ago, I never enjoyed shopping with my mom because she would spend anywhere from 5-8 hours there and there were a lot of people. She always made me try on clothes that I didn’t like or wear colors like pink, blue, or purple, which I detested. I still can’t stand purple and avoid blue due to itss brightness. I mostly just wear black clothes, you can wear them anywhere. Except the supermarket or in your neighborhood, people look at you oddly when you wear all black, so sometimes I’ll try to mix a pink too with black pants or a white sweater on top. I bought a maroon sweater the other day, I’m excited to wear because I like the smell of new clothes. Due to tactile sensitivity I’ve always avoided touching people or hugging/kissing them, I can feel their touch linger on for months or years. My mind doesn’t let my body forget about it. It’s all neurological. Ironically my fiancé also has Autism and SPD, but no social anxiety whatsoever.

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You are amazing. Your reply is so important to me and i am very thankful.

I can relate to a lot of your experiences, but the similarities related to the wedding anxieties are almost surprising.

I am way older than you and come from a very different culture (I grew up and got married in a communist country), but my wedding issues were somewhat similar. I was 19.5 and just graduated from a college. My mother in law wanted to make sure we had a wedding, but I couldn’t make any financial contributions towards this event and neither could my mother, given that we were very poor due to her strugle with her psychosis and perhaps sz. I would have preferred to have no wedding at all, but i had no choice as my mother in law was running the show. Well, I decided not to invite anyone at all, so that I wouldn’t feel guilty that my husband’s family had to pay for my guests. My mom was away, so only my grandparents and my little brother were present at my wedding and also one girlfriend as i had to have a legal witness by my side. That’s only four persons as opposed to lots of guests on my husband’s side. I felt inadequate, poor and low. But I survived and contrary to all anxieties was very happy.

Now my adult daughter had her own idea about her wedding. The two of them invited no guests whatsoever, they drove to a city by the ocean, and went for a hike into the mountains right after the legal registration of their marriage. That was it! Nice and simple.
That was almost a year ago; they both are happy together, and at the end of the day nothing else matters.

You are a very good writer (among lots of other talents that shine through your writing), but you already know that :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your words of kindness, and thank you for sharing your experience with me as well. I too was born in a communist country. I know what it’s like to be poor and have nothing at all to eat or very little money to even have shoes. I don’t want anyone in my wedding because all of those same reasons, but I asked him a while ago and he said he wanted a wedding. His family, especially his grandparents, would be probably be quite adamant on attending the event and he would definitely tell his mom first thing. Because I don’t have a good relationship with my family or any friends, I’d feel ashamed because of it and because I don’t have very much money as I am also disabled (for neurological and rheumatological reasons). I somehow feel like that would ruin my happiness that day because I would be constantly worried about what they think about me. But I also know how important and special it would be for him to have his family there on his wedding. I should take a couple of Hydroxyzines that day, lol.

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