Quite often, as I’m a voice in Blockchain and tech, I’ll receive a nice and friendly invite to an event – sometimes as I open discourse in another vein or sometimes as an opening gambit. This has been more and more prevalent as time goes on – and it’s a sense of sadness for me, as I’d really like to be more engaged with the larger community, and going to these events would allow for that, but I’m symptomatically unable to do so. I’d also like to travel more, see more, and do more, but it’s a safer bet to stay close to home where it’s warm, cozy and safe.
Unfortunately – I’m realistically unable to handle large amounts of people at once, or people in any sense of the term. I’d also be unrealistic to think I’d get away from my circle of support for any extended period.
While hallucinations and delusions are a thing of the past, I still have the overarching threat of these positive symptoms – being in the presence of people I don’t know will bring on memories of hearing their thoughts inbetween their spoken word, which triggers a panic cycle I’m all too familiar with – having also a concurrent diagnosis for panic disorder – even without the stimuli of an actual hallucination.
Moreover, I’m simply anxious and unwieldy in groups. I can assess a sense of an undertone or vibe and all of a sudden I’m lost in a train of introspective thought: do they know what they’re implying? Do other people hear the words between their spoken words? Am I losing my mind again? Should I say xyz, or abc? Which will add to the tension more than alleviate it?
What’s more is that the negative symptoms of schizophrenia – or, rather, aspects or abilities I’ve lost since the neurological imbalances set in, rather than things I’ve ‘gained’ (like hallucinations or delusions) – have a huge impact, as well. What I mean to say, specifically, is that things like a lack of motivation or even awareness of my own self-care and cleanliness would be damaging to my image should I attend an event. Even with the outside forces motivating me to dress or smell better than I normally do, 12 years of too much caffeine, nicotine and not enough brushing have left my teeth in a dismal state – to the point where I don’t smile with an open mouth.
My mental health keeps me within the confines of my own humble abode more often than not. This is particularly damaging for my social relationships with friends and other people, but it’s good news for my ability to concentrate on the things I task my time with – like pushing out content.
I’m hoping other people with social anxiety and a pension for being homebodies will find a use in this article. It can be a crippling affliction but should you frame expectations properly it can be overcome.