Thank you all for sharing your stories, it really makes me comfortable to share mine.
Well, I don't know if what I have would be classified as clinical social anxiety, but I do get extremely nervous and start stuttering in high-pressure situations, and according to the quiz on the website, apparently I have mild anxiety.
As a kid (up until the age of 8 or 9), I used to stutter while speaking (not because of anxiety), and for a while it was really bad, so my parents took me to a speech therapist and it helped. It never completely went away, I did occasionally stutter here and there, but it wasn't very bad. I did stutter quite badly when I had to read in front of a class (because anxiety), or speak up in a crowd, and it was really embarrassing, but I didn't let it get to me, because I'd lived like that my whole life, and I didn't know life without stuttering in front of crowds.
I hit the age of 13, and my family and I moved to a different part of the city, and I had to change schools. I don't know how, but the new environment kinda affected my anxiety levels. I didn't stutter at all for almost a year, I was very confident, and it was all working very well. I volunteered to do stage work/announcements, even gave this awesome speech for which I got a standing ovation, etc. I was nervous, but I didn't stutter, I did really well, I somehow felt comfortable on stage. It really was the peak of my life, and then it all came back. Over the period of a few weeks, all the anxiety was back, I was stuttering very badly, and I didn't even want to talk in groups of more than 8. I go to a school where stage fright is not a thing, because the kids here have been conditioned to not make a big deal out of it, but I moved from a different school where I'd never spoken in front of a crowd. I got made fun of here and there, but that's not what got to me. What got to me, was that I was so good for a few months, and now I'm not. Now I'm 15, and I feel comfortable with some teachers, so I volunteer to read out loud in their class, but in some others, not so much. My heart quickens when my turn arrives, my mouth feels dry, and I start stuttering like an idiot. It gets better as I keep reading, but it still irritates me that I stutter so much. I'm very comfortable socialising, although I am a tad bit nervous, it's all okay, I have no problem going up to people at a party and starting a conversation, or making small talk with someone I'm in an elevator with, it's the bigger crowds that scare me. When I know more than 8 people are listening to what I'm saying and expect something good out of me in the next 2 seconds, that's the pressure I can't handle. Last week, we had a school research club meeting and it was a bunch of people (about 20) I'm not very comfortable with, and our group head. I had this really cool idea but I was so scared to say it, because every time I was about to raise my hand, my chest would pound, and I wouldn't be able to do it. It was hard, but after the meeting, I went up to the group head and told her my idea with 3 other people around her, and they all loved it. I was still nervous as hell, but I made it. I signed myself up for an inter-school debate competition because I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone, and I ended up going and not talking at all, because I couldn't. I had some really good points in mind and I knew that a certificate of merit from here could get me into any school and do wonders for me, but I just couldn't. So many such opportunities have come, but I wasn't able to take them because of this stupid social anxiety problem. I don't want to tell my parents and have them take me to a therapist, because I feel like I'd just be more of a disappointment. My grades are already no good, no matter how hard I try, and if I tell them about it, I'm just afraid they'll think I'm more of a disappointment, I'm already an average-B student with anger issues (they don't know that, I haven't told them for the same reason) and on-and-off depressive episodes (again, kept a secret from them), I don't want to add on to the list of reasons they should hate me. My relationship with my parents isn't very good either, it's pretty okay with my dad but not so much with my mom, so I really wouldn't feel comfortable opening up to them about something like this. To be honest, my parents are nice but sometimes they really put me down, I really can't remember the last time they said something nice about me. I can't name one good thing about myself, which is weird because I think of myself as someone who has pretty good self-esteem. I mean, I think I'm good at writing, but I really can't name another thing I'd say I'm good at. That's not the point of this, the point is that this stupid social anxiety thing has made me miss so much, and I really want to get past it and be able to express myself in front of larger groups.
Well, that's my story. Thank you for reading.
@Munya , thank you for sharing your story. It really gives me hope that someday, I could be better.