Bad habits

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I try not to think of myself as a particularly bad person although if you are depressed or unhappy you may be treated as such anyway, especially online. How ironic that they say you must learn to love yourself when everyone treats you like a c**t .Yet using an online anxiety forum for years mainly out of habit has made me feel worse, more strange and disliked. is this classic SA behaviour , paranoia or is it simply reality? That people even on a support forum ignore or even demonise anyone they dont think of as compatible much as they did at work? However as its a social anxiety forum its possible that they are absolutely shit at making friends online anyway just like me so these feelings are greatly magnified. One thing is patently obvious is that the majority of people on the forum are much younger, both the UK and USA main social anxietyforums even have a special section for over thirties as if you are ancient otherwise. Much of the talk is youth orientated and hard left politics are very popular. Youtube videos about social justice warriors , the regressive left and the snowflake generation sum up much of the popular people and opinions and they HATE anyone who doesn’t think the same. For the record I voted Labour last election even with Ed Milliband and consider myself centre left so I’m hardly a member of the BNP.

There are certainly cliques who only speak to each other and much more importantly a level of nastiness in the background. Its so hard to get on with anyone to be honest that I have come to the conclusion that I must be much worse than I previously thought. Of three people who occasionally chatted to me online all three have not responded to my last message but why would they want to. I’m a miserable bastard with nothing to offer. Also shy people, contrary to belief are not more open minded or compassionate but are often bitter, resentful, sneering and often keen to put others down to make themselves feel better. The very behaviour it seems that made them shy and anxious in the first place. I have clearly seen this in my own family and have no doubt its common online. So if you seldom speak to other people in real life its not often any better trying to form friendships or support online if you are weird. Depression and social anxiety repel all people in all formats so staying isolated becomes unavoidable to avoid further pain and humiliation.

 

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10 thoughts on “Bad habits

  1. I liked this post, but I massively disagree with some aspects of it. It seems you’ve stumbled onto some pretty crappy sites! I could be wrong, but it doesn’t sound especially supportive there. There are better sites out there.

    Please don’t give up on people because there are a few (admittedly a lot of) bad apples. I’ve met a heck of a lot of nice, friendly, supportive people online over the years. I’m “weird” too, you know. Everybody gets shunned by some people for some reason or other, whether they’re nobody or a serious somebody.

    • I’ve been online for 18 years and to be honest I have only ever gotten on with one person for long. That’s the problem you see, constant trying and constant failure produces even greater negativity and then hearing how great or easy other people have found it only reinforces what a freak I am and makes me even more depressed. I have never in all this time found much support or come across these great people after using countless forums so I either repel or annoy them or more likely being shy and depressed makes me shit at making friends and I bore, annoy, depress the f**k out of them so they ignore me, probably both. So the pressure is to try and be humourous and friendly online even when I often feel the opposite in order to not feel disliked. Don’t forget the age thing either, most forums are massively youth orientated and age does matter.

    • And yet, I—a complete stranger to you—been here on your blog, taking the time to type out messages in a supportive capacity, as have others. I won’t press on the matter anymore. Sorry if I made you feel worse. I hope you manage to someday get the help you need.

  2. Sorry, I must be a complete bastard for not being grateful enough. Although your reply does sort of go along with what I said above about repelling people through my negativity and depression which actually made me laugh for the first time this week! Anyone would think I had mental health problems! I think perhaps my comments are more relevant to anxiety forums which have usually made me feel worse and more alone rather than WordPress. I have had some nice comments on here but you know, not many things last and that makes me more negative in the long run as you usually have to give support first to receive help and I am shit at giving.

    However I dont think a stranger on the internet however well intentioned can offer advice relevant to them only,to someone else they know is depressed, sometimes contemplating suicide and be astounded or even angry that their advice is not met with enthusiasm and joy and gratitude especially when I disagree with almost every reply you’ve made. I often wonder if some people offer advice genuinely or just want to feel good about themselves to boost their ego as they may be somewhat needy and crave praise and gratitude to ease their own mental problems.

  3. I think the problem with trying to reach out and help others, especially on an online platform, is that there aren’t much we can do but to share personal experiences and things that have helped us. Maybe sometimes we can try to give other people a chance as well, since they all have their own pain to deal with, even the ones without mental illnesses. That’s not to say that we need to start giving back/feel grateful etc, as that would be very forced, but we can try to understand from their point of view too, even if we may not agree with it. I think I will be as miserable as you are if I don’t have a single support system in my life. I can’t begin to comprehend the depths of despair you are in, so forgive me if I come across as condescending/insensitive sometimes. I really hope that something can be done to alleviate your sufferings, but all I can do is through typing these words here and sharing my own recovery tips, which may not apply to your situation.

  4. Actually you have never come across as condescending or insensitive PoT. In fact I wanted to thank you for the information on stress relief you sent to me before which I had started to look through again. The mindfulness videos are of particularly interest to me along with some meditation techniques and I have tried to think differently to try and alleviate anxiety when it starts to build. I sit in the garden each evening(weather dependant of course!) for about at hour listing to various motivational stuff on my mp3 player.

    Its sometimes gets overwhelming though to get many replies in one day and I struggle to reply especially if I disagree with the comments or am feeling especially down. Some people who are on the road to recovery have changed their attitude to such a positive style that they almost seem to be attacking life and want to try to change other people to the same mindset but get affronted if these other people are still negative. I have seen this on the anxiety forums many times and think I once wrote about it comparing them to sergeant majors who demand positivity, demand you agree with them and then get angry if you dont and usually F**k off in a huff never to be seen again and say people didn’t want to change anyway to hide the fact their approach didn’t work.

    Writing these inner thoughts down to me is some kind of therapy and I never said I wanted help as I dont think there is much many people can do anyway although nice comments are always appreciated. I’m sure if I got a job I liked with people I liked tomorrow or won the national lottery I would be much happier and never need to post again but unfortunately both appear to have about the same odds as happening. My biggest problem is that I firmly believe in evolution and survival of the fittest and this means faulty animals die off all the time and humans are no different. I’m a 40+ year old virgin who has never even so much as kissed a female and have only worked in one low paid menial job which I struggled in and often dont speak to other people for weeks and yet some people seem absolutely amazed I dont burst into positivity just because they have honoured me with a few comments on WordPress.

  5. Hi Klodo, let me know if you have downloaded the mp3s from the link that I sent back then, if the link is broken, I will upload the mindfulness mp3s on another site or email them to you. I’ve completed my 8 week course and a switch flipped halfway through. That was after a particularly horrible day at work which almost caused me to quit the job on that day. I just happened to have a class on the same day, and I was surprised that it put me in such a relaxed state despite the high level of tension I had felt for the whole of my work day. Since then, I’ve listened to the mp3s and meditated daily for half and hour or so. I think that meditation helps because it gives you space to detach from your thoughts for a while. It is the only thing that has helped me with the physical symptoms of anxiety and trust me, like you, I have also tried countless methods that I’ve researched online.

    I understand that this site is a place for you to release all the pent-up frustrations. I guess it’s human nature to try and reach out due to empathy. If you live near to me, at least I could do things like actually bringing you to the good health providers that I know of. I know it’s been terrible trying so hard to find connections with people on anxiety forums/ seeking help but ending up with nothing, and age also plays a part in making you feel so down. I am a virgin too, so is my sibling and we’re in our late twenties to thirties. I suppose society put too much emphasis on losing one’s virginity as fast as possible, which is highly annoying. I feel that you can start your recovery journey no matter which age group you are in though. I see how you find CBT and some other kinds of psychiatric help to be useless, but since you found meditation to be slightly helpful, maybe you slowly ease into that. One step at a time.

    Even if you are 40+, you still have another 30-40 years to go. Like I have mentioned, my therapist also sought help at your age. Anxiety is so pervasive, 24/7. Finding a job and keeping it is painful. CBT is painful. You are right, it’s tormenting but the point is to tolerate those feelings until it gets better and you learned something. Social skills, how to tolerate anxiety and be some what functional. I recall you saying that you felt much better at the end of your job, where the anxiety finally got alleviated after a long time of tolerating it? I have those moments too and I can pin point exactly when they happened back in school or my internship. I find that those periods are worth it for me to tolerate the high level of anxiety. What do you think?

  6. Thanks, I’ve downloaded all the Mp3 files now and will put them on my player to listen to in the garden. With CBT I have mixed emotions. As I wrote in the latest blog entry I wonder if I would have to conquer any depression first in order to stop all the negativity and irritability. I also have got very paranoid in the past. I understand the principle of doing it in baby steps until you get used to something and then moving up progressively. I just disagree that it works alone without being aware of body language, smiling , tone of voice and the normal things an average non SA person would say and do. Is the course you have just finished CBT and if so do you mind telling me some of the things they wanted you to do?

    Many times when things go badly I get worse and more nervous so the idea of I learn and get better is still alien to me. I have been shopping for years and still hate it as I have not learned to relax even though I dont usually have anything go wrong. Even on my long walks I hate coming across people and want to be alone. I think some things work and some dont regardless of not giving up. I was made a team leader at work when young and actually had some authority and although I stayed at if for a year it got so bad I thought I was going to have a breakdown and had to give it up. It my last years I think I was much better simply because of the people I worked with who were much friendlier and it was such a relaxed atmosphere. Probably having no females in our office also helped.

    • I think the main difference between knowing the theory and internalizing it is a perspective shift. With me, CBT improves my condition very gradually. I do not have CBT training but I would mentally practice it whenever I can, like when I instinctively try to avoid eye contact, I make myself do otherwise. I think it’s just one tool out of the many that I have collected in my “Recovery toolbox” through the years. Well, I certainly have days when I buy takeaway food and hide in the car to have my dinner to avoid people, or get my shopping done as quickly as possible etc,(I want to hi-five you on that one, I hate the bright lights in supermarkets..Makes me feel really exposed.) I feel bad to even be in a movie theater because I’ll be sitting with strangers for more than 1 hour! I still do all of those things mainly because I have to do them to remain functional. I think it’s all about balance. When my therapist told me it’s very important to avoid triggers instead of facing them head on(Like how people misinterpret how CBT works), I started finding new adaptive methods to deal with my social anxiety. For example, I let family/friends know that I need to get that corner seat or sit facing the wall when we go out to dinner etc. Or when in a crowded train cabin, I would change cabins during stops if the people there are making me uncomfortable. It’s a balance of these adaptive methods, CBT techniques, mindfulness and a gradual understanding of human behaviours. For example, due to our paranoid tendencies and anxiety, we tend to feel hostility from people and be highly sensitive to how they treat us. What I learned is that many times the things that felt so real are part of our own delusions. People do outcast weirdos etc, but they don’t usually spend time talking about others as much as our brains make us believe that they do.

      Not sure if this works for you but I recently learned this new technique and hope that it may help: When in a crowd and I started having anxious racing thoughts, I just stop for a moment and blank out my mind by focusing on the environment while doing deep breaths. If you had listened to the mindfulness mp3s, you may notice that the practice is not for us to feel anything in particular, not even relaxation. It is to pull us back to the present moment. It gives us some space to “hold” the unpleasant feelings and to tolerate them without reacting instinctively. When I had racing anxious thoughts in the past, I would start spiraling down into depressing thoughts, but these days I can catch myself before doing so. It doesn’t all the time like a magic cure, but it is a realistic, useful tool.

      Since you enjoy listening to mp3s in your garden, maybe these podcast links may interest you:

      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

      http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510307/invisibilia <<< Has an interesting talk on OCD

      https://themoth.org/stories

      https://www.ted.com/topics/psychology

      Some CBT worksheets that you can download or free:

      http://www.get.gg/

      When I was under a lot of social pressure back in school, I always listen to podcasts to pull me out of the painful moments. Some of the stories are very relatable and taught me many things about mental disorders.

  7. Thanks for those. I’ll try and look through them. I still find the biggest problem is being able to relax enough to even listen and concentrate to mediation or self help audio’s. All outside noise irritates me even when in the garden. I wish i could find somewhere completely sound proof.

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