High school student. ADHD+OCD+Tics. English isn’t my first language, so be prepared for awkward sentences.
I can’t stand unfamiliar people talking to me and asking me questions. especially questions that require me to think on.
When someone talks to me, my ADHD side kicks in and panics. my brain starts storming up thoughts like “Someone started a conversation with me, and I MUST provide a correct answer!” which, ironically, causes me to lose focus and miss the question. even if I successfully respond and finish the conversation, my mind for the next few minutes is packed with concerns about whether I spoke the correct words, or my stuttering irritated the listener and wasted his/her valuable time, and eventually end in “why can’t I will be normal?”
even when my psychologist asks me about my life, family or how I’m doing, etc. I can only say all is well, there are no problems, everything is normal and such because these answers are the only ‘correct’ answers my panicking brain can provide. I can’t even take psychological tests well because 1 hour of “What do you think about ~” questions stresses me out so badly that I lose control of my face and neck muscles and just go on a sort of panic attack.
My obsession with perfect answers has made it difficult for me to talk to strangers. if I approach them and start a conversation, I can’t stop having thoughts like how I’m unable to think of acceptable answers and the failure in my pathetic attempt to socialize could push me farther away from other people and so on. This eventually continued on for a few years and now I can’t even finish a sentence without stuttering.
So to avoid being bullied for talking weird but at the same time to achieve further isolation from my peers, I decided to acquire the image of “The smart kid who isolated herself for grades” (Since I thought it would be better than “the friendless loser”, although the latter would be more accurate.) So I dedicated all my free time at school to study, and my image-making kinda worked.
But sadly, even if socializing and making friends can be avoided, I can’t run away from conversations forever, and I have future job interviews to pass. (probably.)
So the question is, how do I overcome the fear of talking to people and live a normal life?