From a young woman in the U.S.: My social anxiety is so bad that I always have trouble talking to people, no matter if they’re my friends or not. Most of my friends are people I met online so that’s not an issue, but even texting them can be difficult for me. I’m just scared that I’ll say something annoying, or stupid, or wrong, or hurt someone’s feelings. In school I have easily gone through days without saying a word.
After I graduated high school I was finally able to go to the doctor with my dad’s insurance, for the first time. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but I know I have something else wrong with me.
But how do I ask for help to get a proper diagnosis? How do I go to therapy when I feel the need to cry any time I have to talk to someone I don’t know?
My anxiety is crippling. I’m unable to get a job, and I can’t even drive because I have panic attacks. My dad doesn’t understand how hard it is for me to just live a normal life, and doesn’t seem to care.How Can I Go to Therapy When I Can’t Talk to People?
I’m so sorry you’ve carried this burden for so long. It’s wonderful that you are going to begin seeing a therapist to help you recover your voice. Please have faith in the therapist’s training. If you could speak easily, you wouldn’t need their help. Therapists get that. The therapist will help you say what you need to say. Bring your letter as a way to begin. Not being able to drive is a powerful metaphor for just how stuck you are feeling. Your therapist will help put you back in the “driver’s seat” to take you successfully into adult life.
I wish you well,