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Anxiety and ADHD

Social Anxiety

What do you do to cope with social anxiety (before and during unnerving social settings)? Share your experiences and strategies for staying afloat in challenging social settings.


This isn’t an immediate solution for specific situations, but Strattera helps me, overall, with anxiety (although it doesn’t help with focusing). 

Rescue Remedy works pretty well for immediate situations, to calm.

Also, I’m also on Intuniv, which helps with my impulsivity, which can come into play for me both in work and social situations.

Posted by GeminiOne on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:21am

This is how I help my son, which should be transferrable to adults.  If there’s any new situation coming up, we talk about it, learn facts about it, dispel myths about it, and visit the location and/or persons before the event.  Sometimes it still doesn’t work, and that’s OK.

For immediate stressful situations, it’s harder for me to help since I can control those for him (and therefore prevent them).  We’ll have to deal with this as he gets older…

Posted by sydneytoy on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:33am

Xanax! Also it helps to know when it will end, that the misery isn’t infinite.

Posted by wordsRimportant on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:44am

I just avoid it. I won’t go.

Posted by dreamer on Jun 29, 2011 at 6:18am

I think the key for me is is not taking the situation overly serious and to litrally say to myself to not take the event or myself too seriously, as i do all the time! a good book on this topic is the davinci method, its a bit ‘trippy’ in places but some great stuff in there, for more larger events having a borderline i dont care attitude within reason helps, but definitly get exercise the day before it will balance you out keep things in perspective. if it really is a prob as it was for me, go to the doctor where they will put you in touch with someone who can go through stratagies, For me the key is take action and youll overcome it even if overcoming it is having an attitude where the problem no longer is a problem if that makes sense? hope that helps it does for me anyway. ps over one in ten people have the same problem

Posted by HG on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:38pm

I have trouble with social anxiety too. Seems it takes me a long time to work up the nerve to do some things that I want to do. However, when I finally accomplish the set goal the feeling is great. Go figure.

Posted by Rhmuwr on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:18am

I always take something to do…
like stitching, reading, etc in the event that I can find a corner to be quiet after I have made the rounds.
  Or take a camera if its your husband’s class reunion.  They all want to pose together you know.

I have found that you really don’t have to come up with a lot to say, because people usually talk about themselves a lot.
  I have also found that the things I dreaded attending…  at times turned out fun and surprising things happened I would have not wanted to miss.

It’s nice to know the boundaries ahead of time.  If I want to attend 1 hour and my husband expects 3 hours, I will drive separately if I can.  I don’t want to be stuck somewhere with no way of escape if it gets long and drawn out.
Some things I refuse to attend anymore…  I am done with professional business dinners and stuffy, arrogant gatherings.  No thanks!!

Small Christian gatherings for me is where I am at home and most comfortable…  nothing elaborate. Plus, there is meaningful purpose in attending….  and Blessing going on.
This is the most profitable time spent…. and anxiety is no issue

Posted by BS&Tears; on Jul 11, 2011 at 10:08am

Some events I avoid altogether knowing they might be awkward or boring. I have a lot if anxiety when I have to attend an event with unfamiliar people.On the other hand close friends I am very comfortable with. I have to tell myself It will be ok and it Wont be long when I have to attend an unfamiliar gathering that’s my only source of help.

Posted by Missbrowneyes on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:05am

I got my dog about 7 years ago, and it’s been a marvelous experience.  He has opened more doors for me socially.  I take him to the park all the time, people always come up to talk.

Geminione: You’re right about Stattera, it does take away that anxious feeling.  I never knew it was there until I started taking it, and I felt more relaxed.

Posted by Sweetie on Jul 14, 2011 at 4:57am

Hi I have been dealing with nasty panic attacks for years before I knew what they were. What I’ve learned to do is to put things in perspective before a frightening event.

For example I had to give a presentation in my class that would have normally given me really bad anticipation anxiety and panic attacks while I was speaking in front of class. However I’ve learned that when I put life into perspective I can greatly reduce my anxiety. Weeks before my presentation I asked myself…“If I put a small rock in front of huge boulders, does the small rock feel scared or anxious?”

Thinking about that little rock put my presentation in perspective and I did a great job. I compensated for the minimal anxiety by researching my topic really. Knowing that I did the best job I could do reassured me that the chances of goofing up would be very small.

Using the concept of perspective to make an event seem “insignificant” has really helped me overcome some big obstacles in college.

Really its about undermining the anxiety and the feeling associated with it. The trick is to “trick” yourself grin

Posted by ArmADHDStudent on Jul 16, 2011 at 3:08pm

I have never really heard of social anxiety till my boyfriend mentioned the word.  I would like to know more about it.  I used to isolate real bad.  I struggle with major depression and anxiety.  I tend to feel safer at home.  I guess that is part of the disorder.  I don’t know.

Posted by Lass on Jul 17, 2011 at 10:13am

I mostly stay at home all the time.

Posted by Sheila101 on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:07am

Great idea BS&Tears;. Sudoku works too.

that’s exactly what I was going to say. Coach yourself, tell yourself what you think will happen, what you can expect, and how you think you should rationally behave. Then after the event coach yourself again about what went well or otherwise and give yourself room to grow and enjoy your life.

That may be true. However it sounds like you’d rather not be. You can go out, and outside can be ok. Right?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:51pm

I really like HD’s response and find that thinking along those same lines - it’s not that big of deal (especially since I make EVERYTHING a big deal), it’s just one event, it’s only one hour/two hours/one night - works really well when I remember to do it. Sometimes my excitement for the event gets in the way and I forget or can’t focus on thinking that way.

Posted by ameliacn on Jul 31, 2011 at 8:00pm

In a month I’m going to a big family wedding where everyone from my past will be. I’m getting panicy just thinking about it, especially since it will last all weekend. One night I’ll be cooking supper for ten relatives - fortunately with help. I’m trying to coach myself (as wisely suggested above) into the right frame of mind. Wonder if I should try to get some medication. I’m a light sleeper so worry about meds interfering with sleep. It helps knowing about this group of people with similar reactions to social events, and to read through your experiences and comments.

Posted by HettyT on Aug 01, 2011 at 10:51pm

My husband suffers from social & generalized anxiety coupled w/ADHD. He’s comfortable at home with a couple of my friends & family; however, having to attend parties & holidays with lots of people or having people over for dinner, etc. is very stressful for him, which in turn, has made me nervous & anxious ‘cause I never know how he’ll react to stressors.  It’s gotten so that we don’t really go anywhere w/other people & we stay home alone just so he’s comfortable & then I don’t have to worry about him feeling awkward & people wondering why he tunes out of conversations or acts inappropriately.

Sometimes I’ve had more pleasant experiences w/him in social situations because he knew ahead of time what to expect. Since I’m very social, he knows that I’ll want to stay around longer than he will. Separate cars for visiting family on holidays & special occasions has become the norm.

Thankfully my husband has a new psychiatrist & therapist who are working w/him to get his anxiety under control. After that, they’ll tackle the ADHD. I’m hopeful these dr’s will work in collaboration w/my husband & things will be less stressful for him & for me too.

Posted by annem68 on Oct 19, 2011 at 10:25am

To make you more comfortable meeting new people, try to know at one person you know well for example your manager introduces you to the other staff in the office. It is always nervous going to a new place you have never been too before. But it eventually becomes easier.

Posted by grow on Nov 02, 2011 at 5:30am

To be honest, I mostly stay home. I became very shy, it seems I don’t get along too well with people…

Posted by Anselma on Nov 14, 2011 at 2:10pm

I am 35 and just began to learn about the fairly new diagnosis that I have of ADHD. I have always had anxiety at bedtime but never could explain. Its now a big problem however, I think its due to accepting this diagnosis and the many thoughts associated with how it has impacted my life. I feel relief and a little anger and grief for the many lost years and the people I unknowingly hurt by my actions. I am going to an appointment in a few days to get medication because the anxiety is getting worse at night. My other anxiety problem is social anxiety. My boyfriend gets upset because I am “unsocial” and he is the opposite. He says his friends think I am stuck up or do not want to be around them. The truth is that the thought of being in an environment with other people in large numbers makes me want to hide or runaway until they are gone. This is one of the ADHD issues putting a strain on my relationship. I do not have any support groups or psychiatrists who specialize in ADHD in my area and I desperately need someone to help me and who understands these issues.

Posted by Awink32276 on Dec 02, 2011 at 2:01pm

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