Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like you might have social anxiety. Social anxiety occurs when you feel anxious about talking in front of others, being the center of attention or fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others. You may experience symptoms such as rapid breathing, racing heart, attempts to avoid social situations, dry mouth, apologizing a lot to others, and feeling social awkward.
Although anxiety is part of who we are, it becomes a problem when it interferes with our daily lives and prevents us from doing what we want to do.
Medication is helpful and can help take the edge off symptoms, but it cannot get to the root of the problem and solve it. Therapy can help you find the cause and help you change how you think about social situations, and therefore reduce the anxiety you feel. To find a therapist, you can ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.
You can also help yourself at home. Here are some resources to help you get started:
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by GillXXXXX XXXXX
A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from panic attacks and social anxiety without drugs or therapy by Steve Pavilanis and Patricia Alma Lee
Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life by Barbara Markway, Sifu Gregory Markway and Gregory Markway
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
I hope this helps,
It could be, but most likely the drugs you took when you were young just covered up the anxiety you had in the first place. Unless you took very hard core drugs and for a long time, you usually cannot alter your basic personality with drug use. And people use drugs to cover up feelings they do not want to face. Drugs can make you more bold when you are not and can make it harder to face your problems. It's part of what makes it hard to become sober- facing your problems.
I agree, some of those drugs can alter your perceptions. Ecstasy itself has long term effects like mood changes and memory. However, it does not directly affect anxiety levels as far as researchers are aware.
Acid can cause prolonged anxiety as a long term effect. It may have affected your levels of anxiety. To confirm this, you may want to consult with your doctor and have an exam by a neurologist. They would be able to give you a more definitive answer about any physical effects on your brain.
The psychological treatment would still remain the same. Medications might be indicated as well because of the physical effects caused by the drug use. This will need to be a coordinated effort between the therapist and your doctor to find the right balance of medication and therapy to help you overcome your anxiety. If you want, you could start with therapy and see how far you can get in helping reduce your anxiety then consult with your doctor if you and your therapist feel you cannot derive more benefit from therapy alone.
It probably has something to do with your relationships as a child. Usually, when someone has issues with the opposite sex, it comes from childhood issues like abuse. Your therapist can help you explore the origins and find ways to resolve what caused you to feel this way. It is a journey and it takes some time so be patient with yourself.