I've had this problem that's been getting worse and worse in the past month.
Whenever I'm walking around in public I hear people talking about me. I don't literally hear them saying stuff about me, but if I hear something like "white shirt" and I'm wearing a white shirt I will automatically assume that it's about me and that it's negative and I'll get nervous. Because of thoughts like this I'm always extremely tense and as a result I walk very stiffly. This compounds because then I think that people are giving me strange looks because I'm walking so stiffly.
Now I know that this is paranoid, but thinking that doesn't help me to relax any. The best I can do is just shove the negative thought into the back of my head. When I try to correct it consciously that works... if I concentrate on it every second. So instead I just try to relax, but whenever I pass by a large group of people I'll start sweating or shaking.
I have slow reactions. I don't know if they're slow or I just freeze up out of nervousness. For example, today a friend walked by me and I said "what's up" and he reached out to give me a high five. I had to think about it for a second so by the time he got to me I only have my hand halfway up so I gave a pathetic, weak, high five with the back of my hand by accident. I didn't consciously think about what had happened until I had just passed him.
Because my mind wanders so often, I'll often forget simple tasks. When I reach out to hand something to the cashier I'll often drop it. That will make me nervous and it will compound again. I often forget to look down at the ground and trip over things, then I get nervous and stumble. I'll go down the hallway to do my laundry and forget to bring something simple like soap. Again, if I just stop and think I can correct these things. The problem is that I'm always thinking. I can't stop thinking. I NEVER relax. When I'm lying in my bed at night I'm not completely relaxed. When I'm in the shower alone I'm not completely relaxed. I always feel like someone's watching me through my window.
I try to face my fears. I've been convinced that I can help myself. I leave the window open. I walk by large groups of people. I try to socialize as often as possible. I breath slowly. For a while, it was getting better. The problem is that the fears NEVER go away. I can get to the point where I can socialize normally, and appear normal on the outside. On the inside though, I'm a nervous wreck. I'm always analyzing situations and I can't stop. If I try to clear my head and relax I just forget how to do things.
The most worrying part for me is that sometimes when I'm in public I'll fantasize about being humiliated and then killing myself. Of course, I can catch myself doing it and stop myself, but it's become automatic behavior so sometimes I do it without even thinking twice about it. I don't even have to interact with other people for this to happen. For example, today I was crossing the street and I just walked by a couple of girls. They were on the other side of the street and they weren't even facing me. But as soon as I saw them I imagined them calling out something to me... like "hey there" and then I imagined myself slipping and falling under the wheels of a bus so that my body would be crushed.
Like I said, I was getting better for a while. Now I think that I'm getting worse and I don't know how to help myself. This has affected me my entire life. When I was in preschool, I was the same way on the inside and I remember it well. I don't know if I remember how to relax, or know what I want... except that I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life.