Problems with anxiety


I just wanted some opinions on some problems that I am having. I have always been very shy and suffer from social anxiety. It is so bad that I have very little friends and don’t talk to almost anyone unless they talk to me. I just have this problem where I don’t know what to say and am very afraid of making a mistake. I also have OCD and certain involuntary thoughts. These thoughts include impure thoughts and sometimes thoughts that I think may be prideful. I am not sure if these are sinful. I do not dwell on them and I do not feel as if I’m better than anyone, these thoughts just sometimes come and then go. Because of these issues, I sometimes come off as rude because I do not talk to people and even have trouble expressing emotions. This has also spread into my prayer in that I feel shy in front of God and have trouble praying. I want to do something like volunteer or help in the church or some organization, but I find it really, really hard to put myself out there. I also have not talked to anyone about this because of the social anxiety. I don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone so I haven’t gone to a therapist or talked to a priest about this. I also think the priests in my parish may see me as rude and possibly disrespectful because of this. I am sorry for the long post. I just really need some advice.
Thank you for any help and prayers.


Oh Diana love - when I read your post it was almost as if you have my personality. I really understand what you are going through - I am always seen as ‘stand-offish’ because I can’t just bound up to people and say ‘hi - whatcha talkin about’ and so they think I have ‘the hump’ with them. I had row with my future (as they were then) sisters-in-law for exactly that - I was thought a snob just because I didn’t have the self worth or confidence to chip in with random comments (even after a few glasses of wine !). Its really hard isn’t it :o

I’ve really no actual advice but I wanted you to know you are not alone - I am sending all my hugs to you. And I’m so sure it can’t just be us either ! - you are just brave enough to own up to it.

I have found that with some people, eventually, I have been able to say, in a slightly self-depracating way - ‘look I’m just really shy and can’t interupt conversations’ or whatever the thing is and generally people are ok with that. And you know what, if they’re not I just try to remember that’s their problem really.

And I too have random thoughts just pop into my head - completely innapropriate and sometimes very nasty. I just thought I ‘thought too much’ as my mum kept telling me - actually she told me once that I needed psychiatric help ! It has taken me 30 odd years to realise that most of my problems stemmed from my relationship with her - certainly my insecurities and self worth issues that lead to instances you so eloquently describe.

I’m sure others here will be able to give you ideas of prayers and such but all I do in these situations is remember that God loves me - he doesn’t think I’m a numpty so does it matter if others do? It is not ‘prideful’ to worry about what others think - we all want to be thought of well by others. But all we can do is our best - in our relationships with others and the world - and the rest - well ‘c’est la vie’ and all that. Please don’t think I am being flippant but it has taken me many years just to think, well, stuff 'em, actually. :smiley:

I don’t know if any of that helps (and my goodness it really **was **long wasn’t it) but just wanted you to know that so many others may be going through the same thing that you aren’t alone. You will be in my prayers - God is used to my rambling and other things coming into my head when praying I’m sure he could almost go ‘make a cup of tea’ or something and come back when something salient is being requested ! :wink:


Holding you in my prayers.


Thank you for the responsemrs miggins. It really does help to know that there are other people out there with these problems. I sometimes feel really alone. I also feel really guilty for not doing anything more in the church. Thank you for all your prayers.


Diana I used to be awfully shy myself.
I could tell you stories of how awfully shy I actually was.

My Dad had a dream when I was in mid teens. “I dreamed that Patricia drowned because she wouldn’t call out for help. She was floating in the sea in her blue coat.” I went away and cried because I knew what he said was true. I couldn’t stand inconveniencing anyone. I probably wouldn’t have called out to save my life if I thought it would be a nuisance to anyone.
I remember the night I was in labor with my third son. We were visiting my husband’s parents and of course I didn’t mention I was already in labor.
But I did finally ask for a cushion because my back hurt so much.

My father-in-law called out to my mother-in-law who was out of the room, "E…, she’s actually asked for something.'
I can still become self-doubting at times, but I’ve ended up very friendly…mostly because I’m concerned to bring blessing to others.

Maybe you could start from little things

The following poem “But” was written by a Divine Word Missionary, inspiring us to love of others, even in the smallest gestures of human kindness.

It was only a sunny smile,
And little it cost in the giving;
But it scattered the night
Like morning light,
And made the day worth living.
Through life’s dark warp a woof it wove
In shining colours of hope and love;
And the angels smiled as they watched above,
Yet little it cost in the giving.

It was only a kindly word, a word that was lightly spoken;
But not in vain,
For it stilled the pain
Of a heart that was nearly broken
It strengthened a faith beset with fears,
And groping blindly through mists of tears,
For light to brighten the coming years,
Although it was lightly spoken.

It was only a helping hand
And it seemed of little availing;
But its clasp was warm,
And it saved from harm
A brother whose strength was failing.
Its touch was tender as angels’ wings
But it rolled the stone from the hidden springs
And pointed the way to higher things,
Though it seemed of little availing.

Maybe a smile does cost you a lot in the giving…but if you do smile, you give to others and yourself as well; if you say a kind word, maybe it costs, but you are living the gospel, and maybe you give someone something. Our task on this earth, according to Jesus, is to love God above all and love others as ourselves. And when He describes the 'last judgement…whether or not we go to heaven, He as our judge, explains that He judges on whether or not we have been actively kind to others in their needs. Matthew 25 verses 31-46…so it isn’t optional to reach out to others.

But yes, I know from experience that it can be painfully difficult, especially at first…but maybe in the end you’ll be as cheerful and friendly as me!!!:smiley:


It sounds a lot like Aspergers syndrome, which I have. Here is a link to a test, if you would like to take it:

Here’s a nice review of Aspergers:

I live like a hermit; seldom going out of my apartment. No TV or news paper, just my computer which I do my work.

On the plus side, people with Aspergers have traits that might make them excel in certain things, like a college degree. On the other hand, Aspergers may give rise to depression and anxiety, both of which characterize me.


I used to be really shy too. In fact, I was voted shyest in my class in high school. It took me a few years, but I eventually overcame it. My husband was also very shy when I met him. Over time, I have come to realize that the people who seem to have an easy time in social situations are often times just as insecure about themselves in one way or another. Society thinks that if you are not extroverted then there must be something wrong with you. I think that is a bunch of baloney. I think there is great value in being prudent or being a good listener.

Have no anxiety about your prayer life. God is your creator and he loves you regardless of what you say or think. To Him you are precious and of great worth. He longs to have a relationship with you and will take you as you are.


Diana…you’ve expressed in words what I’ve been trying to say for years. I know this is an old topic, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I struggle with this, as well. This is one of those crosses that are often born in silence.

For myself, I know it’s not the result of Aspergers (as was suggested above). So, I think this happens for a variety of reasons. I would say that I’m probably hyper-sensitive, and this contributes to my social withdrawal (along with other factors from my past… like past relationships and negative interactions with people).

God bless you!

Please pray for me and I’ll pray for you. :slight_smile:

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