Sandra's experience with anxiety

Sandra is a 35-year-old single woman who lives alone. She feels extremely uncomfortable interacting with other people, and worries that others think badly of her. She was extremely anxious as a child and spent most of her time alone because she had trouble making friends.

Sandra’s main fears are that other people will disagree with her and that she will say something to offend someone. She is very concerned that interacting with other people will lead to some kind of conflict that she will not be able to handle. As a result, she avoids conversations where she might have to give her personal opinions, and she finds it difficult to be assertive. She feels especially anxious around family members and people who live in her apartment building.

Sandra feels anxious for most of the day and finds her social fears quite distressing. She has been unemployed for the past 3 months. She left her job due to extreme anxiety when interacting with co-workers and customers. She would like to develop some friendships, but tends to avoid people because she fears that they won’t like her once they get to know her. Recently, she has been using alcohol to try and reduce her anxiety at family functions. She feels that she is starting to become dependent on alcohol and worries that family members will confront her about her drinking.

Sandra wants to have a romantic relationship, as well as close relationships with friends and family, but she feels too tense and nervous to get close to others. She spends much of her time thinking about everything she is missing out on because of her fears. She is worried she will never be able to have a family of her own, and she is finding it harder and harder to be optimistic about her future.