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I Need Help and Advice because I don't know what to do and am stuck in an endless negative feedback loop. I need to break it somehow.


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I am 20 years old and am finishing up my sophmore year in college. All my life I have felt like I never really fit in anywhere and have always been terrified of social interaction and socializing in general. I can't keep eye contact and converstlations that do begin never go anywhere or last long, and I feel releived when they are over. I have no friends and I am always alone. All I ever do is homework and studying and I seem to use my skill in academic performance as a coping mechanism to my social issues. When I get good grades it makes me feel good and forget my other issues. However the other weekend I became extremely distracted and saddened by my loneliness and realized that I have gone through high school and halfway though college doing nothing of importance or memorable besides studying for my career, and once college is done I will be alone for the rest of my life because I have no social skills or friends. All my life I had been lying to myself and convincing myself that I was not broken and that I was like this by choice. However I feel like I have finally realized that something is probably wrong with me and I should find out what. Why? Why was I fine talking to my father and my sister, but any relatives or peers I can not socialize with at all? Through my research on what could be wrong with me I came across something that seems to fit exactly what I have. Selective mutism. I decided that I should find someone to confirm what I seem to have found and think I may have, and to help me try to get over my social anxities and try to become a normal person who is not a broken husk to everyone. However I am also now worried that if this is what I have that I can not be cured easily as I have read that it is not easy to fix in adults.
My campus offers limited free therapy sessions, but I couldn't bring myself to sign up for one out of fear. I need guidance on what to do but I can't do it alone.
I have tried to take action by myself but when ever I have a chance to do something my brain takes control and tells me to retreat. Then I try again. And then my brain tells me to retreat again.




















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Guest Sam

This is from a couple of weeks ago, but I’m guessing your challenge continues. Could you write a note or even use this post and email it to the therapy providers or their assistants at your school? Or could you just email asking for an appointment, then bring a written letter? Even if you’re able to get the letter to them ahead of time, I would still bring it with. That way, you’ve assured yourself you don’t have to say anything if you end up not feeling able to. Maybe you could even bring a notebook and pen or a device so you can respond to the therapist.

Another thought is to look into online therapy that can start as type-chat only (BetterHelp, TalkSpace).

 I hope you’re able to find what you need!

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It does sound like social anxiety disorder to me. I also suffer from this, and have found help through therapy and learning healthy coping mechanisms. I went from being anxious around most people to being able to converse without feeling nervous most of the time. I do still experience social anxiety, sometimes severely, at work and I have meds I take when that happens. But anymore that's about the only place I still experience social anxiety.

There should be therapists available in college you can talk to, and they can point you to an official diagnosis if you need or want one.

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One important thing to remember is : even if it is long to change with therapy, it is even longer without it.

Another thing is : you are 20. Not having done anything important at this age is normal. I remember when I was around this age, I had his big existential crisis because I felt this way too; it was one of the reason entering adulthood was so hard for me. But at 20 your life is still at this begining, not at this age.

Now for your social anxiety and possible selective mutism,  I think it is better to be helped, so you can learn safely ways to "fight" it.

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