Lately, I've been researching depression for a close friend of mine who has it, and it made me start to think about the various mental issues that I have.

I started to look back at my high school years and how I felt in social situations. I couldn't talk to anyone, because if I did, I would become extremely embarrassed and blush. Even after I realized that I had nothing to worry about when talking to these people, that I wasn't going to say anything really childish or even if I did, it was no big deal, I would still get anxious about socializing because I was worried about blushing. Now, I don't mean that my cheeks would get a little pink; rather my whole face would turn red as a cherry, I would overheat, sweat, and get a headache.

This affected not only my social life, but also life at school. I couldn't talk to anyone except my friends. However, I really didn't think that I actually had friends. I didn't think that my "acquaintances" cared enough about me to be counted as friends. It's not like there was anything in specific that made me think I wasn't worth friendship; I was intelligent, fairly attractive, a talented writer and violinist. I was also a very kind, nonjudgmental person. I just felt that I wasn't worth the trouble.

If asked a question in class, I would become embarrassed, blush and forget the answer. If asked a personal question by a peer, I would blush and avoid the question. This was a big problem! After each day of school I would be so exhausted from the stress, then I would go to my part-time job and blush some more until closing time (midnight). I worked as a server, and would often blush when taking guests' orders! I can't even talk to a doctor without blushing. And the one time that I actually talked to a doctor about my problem, she told me that I'm lucky ("guys like it when girls blush" was her explanation)!

And in the few occasions that I worked up enough courage to talk to a friend about my anxiety, I was told each time that I was just shy and would grow out of it (which made the problem worse because I felt that I wasn't "grownup" enough, and thus acting childish).

Well, anyways, after researching depression and stumbling across social anxiety, I think that I should seek some sort of help. Not only for myself, but for my son. When he is old enough to learn social skills, I don't want him to develop my social anxiety.