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Thread: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

  1. #1

    Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Thanks for reading this and I'm sorry it's kind of a long post. I've delt with social anxiety for basically my whole life. When I was a kid I was really shy but now as an adult (29) it is actually a lot worse. Basically what I mean by social anxiety is that I just feel extremely awkward in almost every social situation. And different levels of anxiety depending on the situation.

    1. Simply walking past a person on the sidewalk makes me really anxious.
    2. Making eye contact is really awkward for me in a lot of situations
    3. Even going to hang out with my twin brother makes me anxious (me and my brother are really close too)

    This might seem crazy to you but I even left my accounting job because my desk was right near a walkway and the social anxiety I get as people walk by was unbearable for me. Basically I felt so awkward because I have continuous tormenting thoughts like:
    "You are acting strange/awkward"
    "Try to just be normal and do your work"
    "You make others uncomfortable with your awkwardness"
    "People think your mad at them" (the anxiety makes me really tense so I assume I look upset)

    Backtracking a little bit, I was born again when I was 18 years old. The two happiest moments of my life were when I began a relationship with Jesus and when I received the Holy Spirit when I was 20 years old. God has delivered me from many things in my life since I came to him. I haven't been set free from this extreme social anxiety yet though. It's been one of the toughest challenges in my life. I obviously want to be set free from the social anxiety because it is tormenting but even more so I want to please God and accomplish all that he has planned for me.

    I'm afraid God isn't pleased with me because I am not sharing the Gospel with people very much. Also as a Christian aren't I suppose to tell unbelievers that they need to repent of their sins and be reconciled to God? I'm afraid my anxiety will hold me back from being bold like I need to be and God won't be pleased with me. Is this a legitimate fear or is the enemy trying to discourage me?

    Thank you for reading. Please pray for me and also I could really use some advice.

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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian07 View Post
    Thanks for reading this and I'm sorry it's kind of a long post. I've delt with social anxiety for basically my whole life. When I was a kid I was really shy but now as an adult (29) it is actually a lot worse. Basically what I mean by social anxiety is that I just feel extremely awkward in almost every social situation. And different levels of anxiety depending on the situation.

    1. Simply walking past a person on the sidewalk makes me really anxious.
    2. Making eye contact is really awkward for me in a lot of situations
    3. Even going to hang out with my twin brother makes me anxious (me and my brother are really close too)

    This might seem crazy to you but I even left my accounting job because my desk was right near a walkway and the social anxiety I get as people walk by was unbearable for me. Basically I felt so awkward because I have continuous tormenting thoughts like:
    "You are acting strange/awkward"
    "Try to just be normal and do your work"
    "You make others uncomfortable with your awkwardness"
    "People think your mad at them" (the anxiety makes me really tense so I assume I look upset)

    Backtracking a little bit, I was born again when I was 18 years old. The two happiest moments of my life were when I began a relationship with Jesus and when I received the Holy Spirit when I was 20 years old. God has delivered me from many things in my life since I came to him. I haven't been set free from this extreme social anxiety yet though. It's been one of the toughest challenges in my life. I obviously want to be set free from the social anxiety because it is tormenting but even more so I want to please God and accomplish all that he has planned for me.
    I think for people with social anxiety there are therapies that help you step by step to overcome your insecurities. But allow me to ask, have you ever been diagnosed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian07 View Post
    I'm afraid God isn't pleased with me because I am not sharing the Gospel with people very much. Also as a Christian aren't I suppose to tell unbelievers that they need to repent of their sins and be reconciled to God? I'm afraid my anxiety will hold me back from being bold like I need to be and God won't be pleased with me. Is this a legitimate fear or is the enemy trying to discourage me?
    Not at all, I think you need to heal yourself first before helping others.

  3. #3
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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    I have sever anexity disorder. I have had it a long time. I have been reading the bible. And I have been praying. I know Jesus is there to help you.

  4. #4

    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian07 View Post
    Thanks for reading this and I'm sorry it's kind of a long post. I've delt with social anxiety for basically my whole life. When I was a kid I was really shy but now as an adult (29) it is actually a lot worse. Basically what I mean by social anxiety is that I just feel extremely awkward in almost every social situation. And different levels of anxiety depending on the situation.

    1. Simply walking past a person on the sidewalk makes me really anxious.
    2. Making eye contact is really awkward for me in a lot of situations
    3. Even going to hang out with my twin brother makes me anxious (me and my brother are really close too)

    This might seem crazy to you but I even left my accounting job because my desk was right near a walkway and the social anxiety I get as people walk by was unbearable for me. Basically I felt so awkward because I have continuous tormenting thoughts like:
    "You are acting strange/awkward"
    "Try to just be normal and do your work"
    "You make others uncomfortable with your awkwardness"
    "People think your mad at them" (the anxiety makes me really tense so I assume I look upset)

    Backtracking a little bit, I was born again when I was 18 years old. The two happiest moments of my life were when I began a relationship with Jesus and when I received the Holy Spirit when I was 20 years old. God has delivered me from many things in my life since I came to him. I haven't been set free from this extreme social anxiety yet though. It's been one of the toughest challenges in my life. I obviously want to be set free from the social anxiety because it is tormenting but even more so I want to please God and accomplish all that he has planned for me.

    I'm afraid God isn't pleased with me because I am not sharing the Gospel with people very much. Also as a Christian aren't I suppose to tell unbelievers that they need to repent of their sins and be reconciled to God? I'm afraid my anxiety will hold me back from being bold like I need to be and God won't be pleased with me. Is this a legitimate fear or is the enemy trying to discourage me?

    Thank you for reading. Please pray for me and also I could really use some advice.
    I can certainly understand u with the anxieties. I too struggle with Depression, Anxiety, ADD, and most recently was diagnosed with PTSD. Mine makes me feel like im losing my mind sometimes. I'm kind of searching for similar answers as well. Look forward to following thread.

  5. #5
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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Hello Christianity07. Anxiety is sometimes just fearing "what might be" instead of what is true or real, so try to follow the advice of Philippians 4:8. And remember that God can use most anything, including your anxiety, to further his plan. "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to the his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
    The Outlaw Bible Student Studies on the Fringe of Christianity

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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Amen outlaw. I get that fear too. Maybe not to the point of quitting a job, but making friends had been very hard for me. I don't know how to even make small talk. But recently I participated in receiving transformative prayer. It's a ministry called TPM...transformative prayer ministry. They do it for free at my church. It's like a counseling session with God. It sounded very hokey to me at first but I felt the Holy Spirit was really nudging me to go. So I went and what a Blessing! I discovered my anxiety was rooted in fear of rejection. That fear actually caused all kinds of problems in my walk with Christ as well. I was always afraid of His rejection because of rejection from my sister. She didn't just reject me, she mocked and ridiculed me every chance she got. I got to the point that every time I tried to talk to someone in authority (big sister) I would start to cry. Even well into my 40s this was true.
    I also participated in a couple courses at church called "Living Well" and "listening well"
    Through these 2 things I discovered a lot about myself and How it was hindering my walk with Jesus. I also discovered something incredibly helpful. Because there were a lot of people in this class, there were a lot of people being vulnerable and open about their own fears and hurts. Turns out, there's a lot of frightened hurt people within the church. And this has really freed so many of us to really just go ahead and greet each other with love and a smile!
    You might have a hard time dealing with non believers at first, but if you join a bible study group and make your fears known to them, I bet they'll embrace you and work with you. Soonyou'll be warming up to other people outside of that group. One thing I remind myself of is, just because I'm loving someone trying to be warm and inviting to them, doesn't mean they will respond how I want...

    BUT THAT'S OK! I'm not loving them so they will like me. I'm loving them so they will BE LOVED and SEE JESUS in me.
    Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

  7. #7
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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    I found that that the very things I had tremendous fear in were the very things God wanted me to do in later years. I mean tremendous fear and two of them I don't recall really coming into contact with...I just had an abnormal fear. Don't be surprised that when He wants to break you of something that you find yourself in the very situations that cause you that fear. Don't try to get out of it...ride it out and pray through it. Sometimes we remove ourselves out of things due to fear and it's where He really wants us.

    My question is "why"? Why are you so fearful? Many times we've had an event in our life that has kicked off our problem. If you are unsure, begin praying for God to show you the cause so you can get to the root of the problem. It doesn't mean you remain in the past...but sometimes knowing the "why" can help with the healing by facing the "why".

    Is God displeased with you because you aren't healed yet and aren't spreading the gospel? If that were the case, He would have been disappointed with many of us. I was always fearful of teaching. Hated school and never felt smart enough. Part of one of my job's was to teach a course in CPR. I thought "no wayyyyyyyyyyyy! What if I teach it wrong and I have all these people going out performing it wrong and killing people! There would be mass killings and...and...and..." you get my drift. Fast forward several years. I go to a new church and they want to do a recovery program. I thought it was interesting and wanted to help....like pass out papers, be a greeter, etc. Until the Pastor, God bless her, wanted me to be an instructor. I'm like "ummmm no". I was thinking "man I didn't want to teach CPR because it had to do with keeping people's hearts alive and now they want me to mess with their spiritual heart??? No pressure there!" But she persisted and I gave it a shot. I also wasn't the greatest at tests, remembering, etc so you see where this is going lol. We had to give a class and I made sure mine was like 3 weeks later so I had time to prepare because I like to be prepared. Mine was something about giving up control lolol. Let me tell you...when I got done teaching that class, I was hooked. God did something in me. Fear had kept me back. I was always afraid that someone would know more than me in teaching and I'd come up looking like, as my brother says, "a dope" lol. But guess what? Someone is always going to know more than me. I feared teaching something incorrectly and yeah that still is a concern of mine but I have to leave that in God's hand. I run things by people now, especially my husband because I don't know everything...none of us do. I went on to direct this recovery program in the next place we moved and then created another for our current church but it was all God, not me. I took what He taught me through the Word and taught it. So 11 years teaching. Sometimes the fears come back and I might have a small set back but I push back and keep moving forward.

    Don't allow fear to intimidate you. It's hard, I know, but God is so much more powerful than fear. You have to utilize the Word of God to combat that fear. When it strikes, start reading the word out loud if you can because that is your weapon and it works. Recite Luke 10:19 every time your fears arise "He has given me the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. I will not be harmed". Every time I woke up in fear, I'd grab my bible and read out loud. Trust me when I say it damages the enemy's ears. It's quite possible the very thing you fear the most...people...is the very thing the enemy knows and fears that you will be utilized mightily in to help others and fear is the only way to stop you. But trust in God, utilize your weapon and stand against fear and chop it's head off. You can do it...I did it but I had to apply what I read from the Word. I had to be persistent. I lost many a battle but one day I started winning and becoming more of a threat to the enemy which meant more attacks but God was always by my side fighting with me. He is with you...you are a team. Nothing can stop God's plan for you, not even the enemy, but you can be a hindrance to yourself. Don't be afraid of the battle...you've already been delivered of other things...this people thing will leave as well.

    Live your life in such a
    way that, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says...

    "Oh NO.... she's awake!"

    ____________________________________________


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  8. #8
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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian07 View Post
    Thanks for reading this and I'm sorry it's kind of a long post. I've delt with social anxiety for basically my whole life. When I was a kid I was really shy but now as an adult (29) it is actually a lot worse. Basically what I mean by social anxiety is that I just feel extremely awkward in almost every social situation. And different levels of anxiety depending on the situation.

    1. Simply walking past a person on the sidewalk makes me really anxious.
    2. Making eye contact is really awkward for me in a lot of situations
    3. Even going to hang out with my twin brother makes me anxious (me and my brother are really close too)

    This might seem crazy to you but I even left my accounting job because my desk was right near a walkway and the social anxiety I get as people walk by was unbearable for me. Basically I felt so awkward because I have continuous tormenting thoughts like:
    "You are acting strange/awkward"
    "Try to just be normal and do your work"
    "You make others uncomfortable with your awkwardness"
    "People think your mad at them" (the anxiety makes me really tense so I assume I look upset)

    Backtracking a little bit, I was born again when I was 18 years old. The two happiest moments of my life were when I began a relationship with Jesus and when I received the Holy Spirit when I was 20 years old. God has delivered me from many things in my life since I came to him. I haven't been set free from this extreme social anxiety yet though. It's been one of the toughest challenges in my life. I obviously want to be set free from the social anxiety because it is tormenting but even more so I want to please God and accomplish all that he has planned for me.

    I'm afraid God isn't pleased with me because I am not sharing the Gospel with people very much. Also as a Christian aren't I suppose to tell unbelievers that they need to repent of their sins and be reconciled to God? I'm afraid my anxiety will hold me back from being bold like I need to be and God won't be pleased with me. Is this a legitimate fear or is the enemy trying to discourage me?

    Thank you for reading. Please pray for me and also I could really use some advice.
    Hi there! I would venture that you were raised in a guilt driven and works-based motivational mentality.

    You described being "born again" in reference to your repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. In what ways were you born again and do you think that Jesus teaching on this was meant to convey that we are spiritually changed when we are saved to be able to and be better people and think correctly?

    You are seeking peace from this miserable anxiety..... (fear). You are have essentially confessed that your mind is not sound. But God desires you to have a sound mind, this is what a relationship with him offers. The gift of the spirit is peace.... therefore we know that you are not connecting to the Holy Spirit like you need to be.

    So.....related to this anxiety is your relationship to the Holy Spirit. Would you mind describing your baptism of the holy spirit experience? There is unfortunately an element of the church that seeks counterfeit experiences which they claim are the evidence of the Holy Spirit. I am not a cessationist, however, I do feel strongly that there are many people who are going about their life believing that they are speaking to the Holy Spirit, but they are not. They are in a vacuum, they are not actually connected to the Spirit like they believe they are, and as a result they are praying and relating to themselves. The mirror just shines the fear and anxiety right back at you.

    This is a very difficult thing, we want it to be easy to touch and feel the spirit, but that simply is not how it works.
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

  9. #9
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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    I can understand your fears and prayed for you. I've struggled with fear with people with my hearing loss and not hearing or making out well on what others say and end up being fearful. It's the fear of the unknown that we fear and people talking and not knowing what others say can trigger fear in me.

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    Re: Extreme Social Anxiety as a Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian07 View Post
    Thanks for reading this and I'm sorry it's kind of a long post. I've delt with social anxiety for basically my whole life. When I was a kid I was really shy but now as an adult (29) it is actually a lot worse. Basically what I mean by social anxiety is that I just feel extremely awkward in almost every social situation. And different levels of anxiety depending on the situation.

    1. Simply walking past a person on the sidewalk makes me really anxious.
    2. Making eye contact is really awkward for me in a lot of situations
    3. Even going to hang out with my twin brother makes me anxious (me and my brother are really close too)

    This might seem crazy to you but I even left my accounting job because my desk was right near a walkway and the social anxiety I get as people walk by was unbearable for me. Basically I felt so awkward because I have continuous tormenting thoughts like:
    "You are acting strange/awkward"
    "Try to just be normal and do your work"
    "You make others uncomfortable with your awkwardness"
    "People think your mad at them" (the anxiety makes me really tense so I assume I look upset)

    Backtracking a little bit, I was born again when I was 18 years old. The two happiest moments of my life were when I began a relationship with Jesus and when I received the Holy Spirit when I was 20 years old. God has delivered me from many things in my life since I came to him. I haven't been set free from this extreme social anxiety yet though. It's been one of the toughest challenges in my life. I obviously want to be set free from the social anxiety because it is tormenting but even more so I want to please God and accomplish all that he has planned for me.

    I'm afraid God isn't pleased with me because I am not sharing the Gospel with people very much. Also as a Christian aren't I suppose to tell unbelievers that they need to repent of their sins and be reconciled to God? I'm afraid my anxiety will hold me back from being bold like I need to be and God won't be pleased with me. Is this a legitimate fear or is the enemy trying to discourage me?

    Thank you for reading. Please pray for me and also I could really use some advice.
    How are you feeling today? From what you've said the spirit of fear has a firm grip on your spirit.. There is a cure for the situation you find yourself in and you're not alone, too many of Gods people are going through the same thing.. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you (James 4:7) God has not given us the spirit of fear.. (James 4:7) Be strong in the Lord.. (Ephesians 6:10)

    Think about young David when he faced the giant Goliath.. Absolutely no fear because he trusted the Lord with his whole heart...

    Remember the peace joy and love you felt when you first met the master.. At that moment you had no fear no fear whatsoever..


    Jude
    You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there's a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.

    ~ Leonard Ravenhill




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