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My social anxiety has got really bad

Hi. I’m reaching out because I really need some help. I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) when I was in my mid-teens, and thought that it had mostly gotten better over the years as I’ve had medication and therapy and done lots of self help stuff. I’m now 22. However, I’ve just realised that it’s back and much worse than ever. My friend of 6 years asked me to meet up with him tomorrow, and my heart just sank. Me and him speak almost everyday via message, and I know we’re good friends. But I still ended up having a panic attack because the idea of leaving the house to meet someone is really distressing. I’ve put on a lot of weight and I really don’t like the way I look. I feel like I’m going to be awkward and ruin our friendship, and I keep thinking my friend just pities me and that’s why he still bothers with me. I keep rerunning scenarios in my head thinking that I’m such an awkward idiot, nobody could possibly like me, everyone makes fun of me when I’m not around etc. and I keep thinking of everything that could go wrong tomorrow. I want to cancel and stay in, but I don’t want to lose my friend. I don’t know how I got to this place mentally and I don’t know how to get out of it. I feel like such a failure.

(edited to add current age)


It’s great that you’re reaching out for some help. We’re always here for support. Sorry to hear about your social struggles. I can definitely relate to many of the problems you’ve stated. It really sucks when you have friends you really WANT to see, but can’t get past the feelings of anxiety. I’ve had this happen to me countless times, and like you- I worry that I will lose friendships.
Just try to remind yourself that this friend has been there for 6 years. I’m sure they love you and will support you through a great deal. Also, I can relate to the body issues, and feeling self conscious. I wish I had more advice to give you on conquering those fears… but I did read something helpful here on the forums once, that was along the lines of, “your friends already like you. So who cares if you’re fat.” Haha straight to the point. I really found that ideology helpful.

In regards to creating scenarios in your head of what could go wrong…
I would try to challenge yourself to create positive scenarios as well. Such as, “what if I’m NOT as awkward as I think?”
“What if they DO like you?”
“What if it ends up being the best time ever!”
Sending well wishes and encouragement. You can do this!

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i know the feeling, and once u can meet with friend somewhere you feel comfortable a park? or close to home, after a few minutes of just being yourself, let those untrue thoughts wash away and enjoy each others company.

Hi, unfortunately I know all too well how you feel. I’m 22 as well and when I read this I said wait??? Did I write this!!? I struggle extremely hard with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and it’s the worst in social situations. I too have gained weight due to stress, medications and depression. I also feel the way you do, I know exactly how you feel. You’re not a “failure” you’re a “FIGHTER” you’re still here battling it out. Trust me I know how hard it can be but you’ve just have to keep pushing. Maybe invite another mutual friend who you feel most comfortable around so it’s not as awkward. I hope this helps some. :heart:

I was like this I wouldn’t go out and stayed locked up in my room I was 21 but now I love staying at home . You will find someone who will love you for you a soulmate.

i understand what you are going through with the amount of social anxiety. You are not alone and it gets easier as time progresses because even if you take small risks in situations that make you anxious you will reap the benefits later.