Hi. My name is Meke, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Namibia, Africa. Living in such an overly social community, it is rare to find someone who fears groups of people. We tend to have many family and friends gatherings, and that is not the best place for me in the world. When someone is afraid of crowds, the elders call it ridiculous and child’s play, saying that they should grow up and deal with it. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember, and nothing has changed. I tend to hide in my room when we have social gatherings, because my parents tend to introduce me to almost every person in the room. My fear is not that severe, but it is there. Even thinking of crowds gets me all nervous and anxious. I even have to mentally prepare myself a day before facing a crowd, if I’m aware of an upcoming event. Growing up, my mother never really allowed me to go out and play, to socialise with other kids, not like how my brother was. He turned out better than me in socialising. More family members know him more than me. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, the result of my mom’s actions led me to always be in my own company and find comfort in it, so when I’m in new company, it kinda takes me out of my comfort zone, and that terrifies me since I’m used to the comfort. It’s so weird to have this type of fear when I have 6 close friends, but I’m not surprised since I’m just down right weird. I took a personality test recently and it showed that I’m more likely to experience emotions stronger than an average person would. I don’t know if that has anything to do with my phobia or not. I also took anxiety tests, and my results were over average. Still don’t know if that has to do with my phobia or not. Last August, I got a holiday job from my neighbor to help her cater for a camp, and I felt nervous and uncomfortable most of the time. I did my best to hide my fear by keeping my face neutral the whole time we cook and serve the food, but then one time, the campers invited us, my cousin, my friend and I who were working there, to join them. I immediately declined. They kept insisting, but I kept giving excuses, saying that I need to do some work in the kitchen and so on. When the other cooks realised that I was actually afraid, they kept saying that I was just shy, talking like I wasn’t even there. I just left and went to the bathroom to calm down. I could literally feel myself shaking, even though I didn’t have an encounter with the crowd. I still get the nerves from that day. That day I discovered this website. I got a little information on what type of phobia I might have, but I’m still confused and unsure if it is really real, if I’m really just shy like they said, or if I have a real phobia.
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