I'm Megan. My username is the same on both this forum and PsychCentral, so if I know you, speak up! Literally. (explained below)
I have had social phobia since I was 11 years old following a prolonged experience with bullying in the fifth grade. I am now a high school junior still dealing with the same issues as when I was a child. Ever since I can remember, I've been a shy person, a deep thinker. This goes all the way back to my childhood, where I was the loner of the group, preferring to read or draw rather than be around large groups of my peers. Groups have a funny effect on me. In a crowded lunchroom or school hallway, it feels as if all the sound contained within that room becomes amplified in my head at least double its normal volume. This is why I hate walking through the gymnasium when the school band is rehearsing, or why as a small child I would scream to my parents to be taken home from whatever birthday party or school dance happened to have loud music.
My therapists thinks I've really been dealing with a sensory processing disorder all these years. According to her, even though auditory information enters my mind like it should, it is transmitted in my brain differently than the average person ("neuro-typical", she calls them) That explains why I often have to ask whomever I'm talking to to repeat themselves more than once or twice. I've found that trying to "guess" my way out of a question asked that I don't understand only leads to further misunderstanding and embarrassment on my part. I believe this is because I simply am not tuned in to what those around me are saying. It's almost a form of mental self-defense, in which my mind, overwhelmed to its limit from all the stimulation going on around me, tends to shut off and block out any further auditory information. This is my theory, but what do I know? I'm just a high school student.
I've been a member of PsychCentral since 2009, back when I first began to seek therapy for my social phobia. When I asked about the possibility of a forum for those with sensory issues, I was directed here. Nice to meet you all