social anxiety

  1. Hi,
    Alright, so i've dealt w/ SA for the past 10 yrs. Had ups & downs & managed to keep it down for my 2yrs of prereqs b/c i could hide in huge lectures. Now that i just started my nursing classes it's back w/ a vegence! I get soooooo nervous I want to explode. During stupid stuff like in a small lab learning how to properly reposition pts. Honestly, nobody was even focusing on me & the whole time i'm thinking, "I cannot handle this, i need to quit!!!" And I don't want to quit but the awful feelings i get are pushing more & more into wanting to quit & I've only been in school for 3 wks!!!!!!
    I know this is what i want to do more than anything. And I know that once I'm an actual RN I'll be fine. It's just the whole school-peers small classes talking aloud & performing all this stuff that kills me!
    Ugh, I know i can get over this & feel so dumb b/c there are more important things to worry about in this world! I'm going to see a doc & go on meds again but that's a few wks away. i just hope i make it through til then alright.
    thanks for listening to me vent.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Hi,
    Since this sounds like way more than just being shy, I was going to suggest speaking with a doc, so I'm glad thats on your list. Being a nurse will require you speaking about some uncomfortable stuff to complete strangers so learning to handle your anxiety now will go a long way. Much luck to you and hang in there, Jules
  4. by   rds007
    Crazylilkelly,
    I have had similiar problems for years. There was a time during prereqs that I actually got up and left class because I was so afraid that we were going to put into groups to work. I would always feel so nervous around other people, and feel like everything I said sounded dumb. I would get really warm & talk fast. It got to the point that I began having shortness of breath. I finally went to my doctor & she prescribed Effexor XR for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It took 3 weeks, but I am beginning to feel normal again. I can breathe!
    I love to workout & have found that when I miss a few workouts, I seem to be more stressed. I would suggest that you exercise regularly & see your doc. It made all the difference in the world for me.
    Good luck!!:icon_hug:
    Rachel
  5. by   locolorenzo22
    I have no actual Dx of Sa, but suspect it. I generally even talk softer and try to plan bathroom breaks around suspected group work. Yesterday, we had to work in groups of 7, then one person was getting picked to present to class. I was SOOO sure it was going to be me that I started rehearsing it...of course I didn't get picked.
    Being one of 3 men in the program, it's even worse to me. I've got that factor to also be nervous about. today though I went in to give a return demo on handwashing and pulse ox, met a totally new instructor that does demo only this semester and she put me right at ease...
    BOOM! 2 demos down and 1000 to go....
    See a doc and watch exercise & diet! You'll feel worse if you aren't eating balanced....
  6. by   crazylilkelly
    thanks for your understanding & support guys! i know i can get over this, i have in the past. i went through this REALLY bad in the navy. but worked through w/ some med help & enjoyed the rest of my military career.
    it's funny that you guys point out eating right & exercising. i've made a plan to exercise daily (i know it gives a great rush & relieves stress) & i'm going to work on maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern. it's going to be hard but definitely worth it. good luck to you guys too!
  7. by   sail81
    Hi there!

    I too suffer from a social anxiety disorder and hate group work too!! I was put on Zoloft at 100mg in 2001, I have since then gone down to 50 mg but sometimes with the stress of Nursing school approaching I should go to 100 again. Some people just tell me to "stop worrying" but they don't understand. That's like telling someone with anorexia to eat. And once the anxiety starts flowing it seems to get worse. I recently had my first panic attack...I couldn't breath, I feel like I am going to have wrinkles and gray hair sooner than ever! I was diagnosed when the Doc found I not only had a heart murmur but also Mitral Valve Prolapse apparently MVP has a correlation with anxiety disorders. So that made me actually feel better, its not in my head I do have an issue here. Anyway the best advice I can give you is "BE PRESENT in the moment" try not to think further than what is going on RIGHT now. Workout, watch what you eat, take your vitamins (include fish oil--I have found this also helps to raise my mood). Never NOT do something b/c of your disorder.
  8. by   crazylilkelly
    Quote from sail81
    Hi there!

    I too suffer from a social anxiety disorder and hate group work too!! I was put on Zoloft at 100mg in 2001, I have since then gone down to 50 mg but sometimes with the stress of Nursing school approaching I should go to 100 again. Some people just tell me to "stop worrying" but they don't understand. That's like telling someone with anorexia to eat. And once the anxiety starts flowing it seems to get worse. I recently had my first panic attack...I couldn't breath, I feel like I am going to have wrinkles and gray hair sooner than ever! I was diagnosed when the Doc found I not only had a heart murmur but also Mitral Valve Prolapse apparently MVP has a correlation with anxiety disorders. So that made me actually feel better, its not in my head I do have an issue here. Anyway the best advice I can give you is "BE PRESENT in the moment" try not to think further than what is going on RIGHT now. Workout, watch what you eat, take your vitamins (include fish oil--I have found this also helps to raise my mood). Never NOT do something b/c of your disorder.
    Thanks!
    Hmmm, i never ever heard of MVP correlation w/ SA. i'm going to look that up now. I'm sorry you had to experience your first panic attack. it's an awful feeling. i hope that's the only one you had & ever will have! i used to get them in hs & in the military but i haven't had one for yrs so i'm grateful for that. good luck & thanks for your advice!
  9. by   FNPhopeful
    I just wanted to say you are not alone. This thread actually made me feel alittle better about myself......I too have somewhat of social anxiety, I HATE having any attention on me for any reason. I feel like I turn red and I get real hot all over if I have to talk in front of people. My voice even starts to get shaky!
    I took group discussion instead of public speaking for this very reason. But I am hoping with nursing school that I'll be forced into these situations and forced to overcome my anxiety. Because at this point we cant quit!
    I used to take Wellbutrin but I dont really think it did anything. (Does Effexor work?)
    I always think whatever I say is gonna sound dumb or shaky. Im trying to get over it but its really hard. Skills testing is a real nerve racker!
  10. by   WDWpixieRN
    Interesting thread....I've been hating checkoffs as I hate that "I'm in the spotlight" feeling. I work with others wonderfully; got great communication marks in my last career, could run a meeting with the best of them; but there's just something about KNOWING someone's watching me try to pass a skill that has made me a basket case for the last 3 checkouts. I am dreading future ones. I, too, get flushed, sweaty, and during BP checkouts, my pressure was up to 150something/96!! Do ya' think I was stressing?!?!?

    I've always been like this a bit -- I remember my dad getting aggravated when I was taking a bowling or golf lesson saying, "No one's watching you; just worry about yourself!! No one's watching you!!" Well, in a way that's no longer true!! lolol....

    Good luck all!
  11. by   NCVegRN
    I just wanted to say you are not alone. I just graduated from RN school. I have a history of anxiety and panic disorder - which I had gotten under control w/out meds prior to school. In school I started getting migraines again - thru trial and error with my NP neuro I found 300mg of Wellbutrin got rid of most of them - they were produced by stress and anxiety.

    A ton of my classmates also took something for anxiety - some every day and some just on presentation days. Nursing school is VERY stressful. Do what you need to take care of yourself - don't be ashamed to take meds and do eat right, exercise and get sleep. It's simple, but Really helps.

    You will survive - I did!
  12. by   FNPhopeful
    Are there anxiety meds that you can take on the spot, if you think your gonna panic? What do they do?
  13. by   firstyearstudent
    I've never been diagnosed either but I suspect I have it, too. One thing I've found helpful is to force myself to talk and smile at people. Just ask them how they are and you really won't have to talk that much, just listen. I also try to make as many jokes as I can. Sometimes I say something REALLY stupid and wrong and embarrassing because I'm so nervous I say the wrong word (I can really screw up a punchline, heh heh). For example, years ago a teacher asked if I could play a musical instrument and I meant to make the joke, "a kazoo," but I said "a bazooka" instead (which was actually funnier). I also forget people's names in anxious moments so I call everyone "babe" or "hey, you." I used to stutter like crazy but this is mostly under control. The other students think I'm nutty not shy and generally seem to like me.

    Another thing I do is to just get up and leave abruptly when I'm really freaking out, take a short, brisk walk and come back.
  14. by   Curious1alwys
    Quote from wdwpixie
    Interesting thread....I've been hating checkoffs as I hate that "I'm in the spotlight" feeling. I work with others wonderfully; got great communication marks in my last career, could run a meeting with the best of them; but there's just something about KNOWING someone's watching me try to pass a skill that has made me a basket case for the last 3 checkouts. I am dreading future ones. I, too, get flushed, sweaty, and during BP checkouts, my pressure was up to 150something/96!! Do ya' think I was stressing?!?!?

    Good luck all!

    YES!! I too can't stand that someone is watching me and I am being "judged". I get so nervous and actually DO make really stupid mistakes....like put the BP cuff on wrong. I seriously will stand there and fiddle with it and not even remember how to do it!!! Then I feel like suck a freakazoid that my BP, pulse, and respirs shoot up and I feel like I am going to faint. I feel like the nurses are looking at me like, "WOW this girl thinks she is going to be a nurse??" It just gets worse as I proceed in the blocks because it has become less and less acceptable to "not know". You can't really claim that in your third semester!!

    I have noticed a bit of an improvement since I started on Zoloft too. I only take 50mg right now, which may not be enough, but I am a little bit more like I just don't care. I mean, I care, but now I am kinda like, "whatever!!"..we all make mistakes! I was doubting whether the med was really working at all but maybe it is just a bit. Either that or I am too sedated to care! (this med makes ya soooooo slllleeeeeeppppyyyyy, which is why I almost went off of it and still think about doing that..) I was less nervous in my first week of clinicals this week, so.....

    Consider going on medication. The constant stress of nursing school takes its toll and your problem is not likely to get better on its own...atleast under this pressure. It's hard to do behavior modification when you are repeatedly stressed in the same way every week! I feel for ya!:icon_hug:

    Funny how the above poster mentions her Dad. I know our families just don't understand. You tell them about your experiences and they tell you "well, don't think about it too much, everyone is learning". I almost get mad and wish they could experience the stress of nursing school for just one day and see how it feels. YEAH PEOPLE ARE WATCHING YOU NOW!!!

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