From Eqypt: I always worry about my relationships with my friends and other people and always conclude things about other people’s actions or thoughts causing me to act upon somethings or situation then regretting acting that way afterwards or act in the wrong way. That issue makes me afraid of starting any kind of conversation with my friends and makes me nervous of making a mistake whenever I talk to anyone which may seem to other people on the outside that I hate them or I’m not sociable and boring.

Also I’m not the type to ask for help even when I might be failing in the subject I’m studying or even ask about an advice about a situation that I’m in, I would sit for hours searching for a solution on the internet.

Another Issue is that I’m always emotionally unstable, My mood changes so quickly that almost all the people that I know ask me what’s wrong or if there is something that makes me angry, and for some reason I hate being asked that question a lot.

Lately, I running away to my house quickly once I’m done with my classes in my university; I don’t wait enough to make any conversation with anyone, my friends always tell me where are you? we don’t see you often! and then I would invent any kind of an excuse.

I had many fights with my friends which is due to my over sensitivity and feeling that I’m always ignored and that my friends don’t want someone like me who may be dull and not funny enough or good enough or not intelligent. Always belittling myself and my work, which caused me to be lazy and hate studying because I always think that no matter how much I do, I will always get a not good enough grade.

I’m tired of being like that and I don’t know where to go to or what to do or whom to ask for help…
Please help me

A: Although I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter, what you are describing is consistent with Social Anxiety Disorder. Social Anxiety Disorder is extreme fear of being judged by others in social or performance situations. That and a low self-esteem are getting in your way of being all you can be. As you have already found, it is a very hard way to live.

The good news is that you have made a start in asking for help by writing to us here at PsychCentral. Ideally, you would benefit from some cognitive behavioral therapy. But if that isn’t available in Egypt, a place to start is at the “Find Help” tab on our homepage. Click on “Community”. Go to the Anxiety forum to learn and get support from other members.

I packed everything I know about self-esteem (and how to improve it) in my latest book, “Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem“, published by New Harbinger Press. You might find it useful to get a copy and work on the activities.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie