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Avatar universal

What should I do about my social anxiety and hyperhidrosis?

Hello, Okay so recently my social anxiety has been very heightened. I've always been nervous about public speaking and being the center of attention etc. I had an experience last year where I was around a lot of my coworkers and they basically were talking about me in front of me. They were not straightforward but it was very obvious what was going on. They were saying I smell bad and I have bad breath. I completely froze out of embarrassment and shame. Where we were I could not leave at the time. Fast forward I feel like I internalized those emotions and being around people especially strangers make me feel very anxious. Additionally, I am not sure if this is a cause and effect thing but now I have developed hyperhidrosis. Yes, I sweat before but now it's so bad that it will be dripping from my armpits. Then the fact that I'm sweating so much makes me so anxious and the fear of not wanting to smell bad comes in. I fixate on it so much that I cannot stop thinking about it and then I sweat even more out of stress and worry. I feel like my body is working against me and is perceiving danger whenever I am around people. It is so embarrassing because I am constantly trying to do things to stop the sweating and I think I am just making it worse. I have underarm burns from using certain deodorants that have I believe given me an allergic rash. I just feel like no deodorant is working for me and I feel like I do smell bad. It is getting to the point that I don't even think I want to work in a social setting I would rather be at home. I don't want to stand near anyone, I scared they will think I smell. I don't want to walk past people. It is really starting to affect my relationships with people and I do not know what to do. It is such a layered issue I do not know how to tackle it.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
First, it sounds like you have no actual idea what those people were talking about, you just assumed they were talking about you.  Maybe they were, maybe they weren't.  You didn't hear them.  Have you ever asked anyone you actually know if you smell or not?  Like someone in your family or a friend?  Do you smell yourself?  Because it sounds like you're assuming all of this stuff to the point you've given yourself a worsening anxiety problem.  Whatever is going on, if you let it fester it will get worse, so I highly recommend you find a psychologist and begin therapy as soon as you can to treat your anxiety.  I wouldn't recommend retreating to your home -- it will make it worse.  
20841821 tn?1547942964
Paxiled always has great advice. It seems like you know anxiety is an issue and seems to exacerbate your symptoms. Getting into counseling to treat your anxiety is a great starting point. However, you may want to talk to your primary care provider to rule out underlying medical concerns. You can also have them check out the rash under your arms. Prescription deodorants are available. You might also want to try hydrocortisone cream on the rash. As tempted as you might be to stay home and avoid contact with others, it will just feed the vicious cycle of anxiety. I wish you all the best.  
1 Comments
I would say, I'd pass on the cortisone cream and prescription deodorants unless doctors determine its necessary.  Cortisone can make itching not so irritating, but it also can make rashes recur as it can damage some of the things that make up our immune systems.  Strong deodorants are medication and all medication has some downsides.  I'd want to know first, one, if I actually did smell bad because, again, it sounds like you just assume this without knowing if its true.  Second, I'd always want to deal with mild health problems with mild health solutions before I attacked them with toxic pharmaceutical products.  
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