Social Anxiety and Bad SleepHello, I am a 24 year old white male with a Scots-Irish ancestry and fair skin with freckles. I have been experiencing sleep troubles and social anxiety for a good portion of my life. The social anxiety since at least middle school.
I have trouble sleeping at night due to anxious dreams. These dreams usually have to do with losing something (such as a cell phone) or not being able to do something (a robber is shooting at me but I can't climb the stairs to escape because I have no energy). I graduated college two years ago, but still have dreams about not finishing senior year because I completely forgot about a class all semester. This tends to occur in the early morning, typically past 3am until 5:30am or so. I constantly have to wake up and turn over. I sleep on my side/stomach with a pillow. I have also been grinding my teeth lately in my sleep.
When in company, I feel like I am constantly stared at, so I can't get comfortable while standing in conversation. My posture feels forced and I often wish to end the conversation, even though it is going well. I am too anxious about what I am going to say next, etc. Lots of people in the room overwhelms me and I find it difficult to speak. I also tend to assume others are superior to me or assume that view me as inferior at least. These feelings end after I've a decent amount of alcohol.
Walking in public is even worse. I feel like I can't walk naturally across the room because in my mind everyone is watching me walk and I think it affects my gait. I can't walk across a room without feeling self-conscious. This applies to most physical activities. I am physically capable, but mentally I sabotage myself because I believe I'm going to mess up. Even when I am completely alone walking down the street and I don't see anyone, this applies because I'm afraid someone might be watching.
A lot of times I feel 'out of it' and world can seem a little surreal, but this is usually due to the loss of sleep, I think. Sometimes I will see little bright white sparks in the near edges of my vision. The travel sort of like they are on an invisible circuit breaker.
I appreciate any recommendations. Let me know if you need more information.
bastiat on 2008-07-21
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