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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I do not want to be around other people. At work it is ok but

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I do not want to be around other people. At work it is ok but when I get off I will not go anywhere. I go to the gym at 4 am to avoid people Is that depression?

Alicia_MSW :

Hello, I'm Alicia. I'm happy to help you today.


 

Alicia_MSW :

Just from what you've said, it could be depression, but it sounds more like social anxiety disorder. Do you have any other symptoms of depression, such as changes to your eating patterns or sleep? Do you feel sad frequently? I

Alicia_MSW :

How long have you felt this way?

Customer:

I feel sad sometimes. I have felt like this for years

Alicia_MSW :

Also, do you feel afraid or fearful of people, or do you simply prefer to spend time alone?

Alicia_MSW :

Do you have close friends?

Customer:

I have a few close friends that I spend time with. I want to go out and spend time meeting people but I wont unless one of my friends are with me

Alicia_MSW :

Everyone feels sad sometimes, so just based on that, it doesn't sound like you completely meet the criteria for depression. If you've felt like this for years, I would say that it's either that you have more of an introverted personality type (which is common in about 20% of the population. It means that you prefer to spend time alone rather than in the company of others, and that you draw your energy from being by yourself, rather than around other people. If you're an introvert, you usually have just a few friends, but friends with whom who feel very deep connections), or you have social anxiety disorder, which involves feeling fearful of interactions with others, avoiding social contact because you're afraid of being judged, and so forth.

Alicia_MSW :

Would you review this list of symptoms for social anxiety disorder and see if you meet the criteria for this diagnosis? Just let me know when you've read it over: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-anxiety-disorder/DS00595/DSECTION=symptoms

Alicia_MSW :

It could also be that you're shy (but don't meet all of the criteria for social anxiety disorder.) There's an article in Psychology Today that describes the difference, perhaps you'll find it useful: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introverts-corner/200910/introversion-vs-shyness-the-discussion-continues

Customer:

I do not think I have those symptoms. I speak in front of people at work but not when I am away. I have lunch dates with different people but end up canceling from not wanting to go. I need to be more social for my position at work. is there anything for this problem?

Alicia_MSW :

One more thought that I forgot to mention, but you say you feel like you want to go out and meet people, but you won't do it unless you're with your friend. So that makes me feel that it's not introversion (which is where you actually don't feel like meeting people because you're happy to be alone). There is help, but in order to find the right sort of help, you have to clearly identify exactly what the problem is. Two things you can do - get an evaluation by a mental health professional in person (it's the only way to tell for sure) to discuss your symptoms. If it is social anxiety or some other form of anxiety, medication, psychotherapy and self-help techniques (like relaxation, changing the way you think, changing negative thought patterns, etc) can help.

Alicia_MSW :

If you need to be more social for work, you might consider joining an organization like Toastmasters, even though it's geared towards public speaking, it can help you connect with others, overcome shyness and help you learn how to interact (on a professional level) with others and develop more confidence.

Customer:

thank you I will go visit a doctor thanks again

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