Social exhaustion

Does anyone else not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week? I hate going out anywhere anymore because it's so draining. I get startled so easily even whenever I am being hypervigilant and just interacting with people at all exhausts me immensely.

I feel really odd about this but I have a friend that wants to see me more than my social anxiety allows. I spent time with her today and now she wants to spend the night on both Tuesday and Wednesday. As well as going two hours away to spend the day in a bigger city. Today the visit I had with her lasted from 4 pm to 11 pm and I was not expecting it. When she asked if I wanted to go to the park and get a late lunch, I was expecting just a short get-together of maybe two hours and now tomorrow I have things to do involving people, but I have no energy to do them. Does anyone else feel like this?
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, it’s very much normal and typical. I might even enjoy the presence of friends a lot but there will be a moment I’ll just saturate. Depends a bit on whom. There are people with quiet energy with whom I can spend more time, others that I love but exhaust me in 45 minutes. There are days this has to be 0 otherwise I’ll meltdown or have an episode.

This also improves when you improve. Don’t forget it’s okay and important to set boundaries and not to get overwhelmed by things you don’t want to do. If you want to give it a try and see if you can expose yourself it’s okay too but there are days you can sense it, how it’s gonna go. It takes a time too to know when you’re just grumpy and your mood can shift or if it’s the wall of anxiety creeping inexorably.
 

Friday

Moderator
Does anyone else not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week?
It’s not that reliable for me, but I also don’t have social anxiety. I’m just an outgoing introvert with a finite capacity for stress. So it depends on what’s going on in my life. Social exhaustion? Absolutely. Where that kicks in? AND How much down time or isolating I’ll need to balance that / what that looks like? Both... Variable as hell.

This (below) is something I wrote several years back
The more involved a relationship is, the more energy goes into it. For me, there are different stages.
- Intimate relationships (family & close friends),
- close relationships (work, occasional friends),
- brief purposeful encounters (church, PTA/ other parents),
- hello human (gas station, post carrier, waitress).

I, quite frankly, don't have the energy to deal with everyone all the time. So I make choices, and pull back in order to protect myself. I know when I'm at either end of the spectrum (only interacting with family or gas station attendants) that I'm going off the rails. (If I'm even avoiding my mailman and the gas station Attendant... I've already gone off the rails. Past tense. Toast.).

Ideally, and when I'm doing well, I can maintain all the different levels of relationships in my life. They're part of what makes my life full, balanced, and rewarding.
So in addition to frequency, there’s also what sort of level being social fall under... and how well / how badly I’m doing PTSD wise.

Anyway you look at it, though? Doing well / doing badly, social to the Nth or isolating to different degrees? It’s an artform to master the balance necessary.
 
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ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Depends on who I'm around. My neighbor, ten minutes max and I'm done! She is a compulsive talker who doesn't say anything. If that makes sense.

Like @ruborcoraxxx shared if the person is low energy I can be around them and not get stressed. I have such brain fog if the person I'm around starts sucking all the air out of the room I'm gone.
 

Freddyt

Confident
So in addition to frequency, there’s also what sort of level being social fall under... and how well / how badly I’m doing PTSD wise.

Anyway you look at it, though? Doing well / doing badly, social to the Nth or isolating to different degrees? It’s an artform to master the balance necessary.
Exactly. Who I am with makes a huge difference. I am not great with figuring out where I am with PTSD right now and it shows. I thought I could handle an outing with mom and my wife last week but it turned out I wasn't ready or able and had a bit of an awful day.

I really like "the more involved, the more the energy" statement. I think the emotional investment in that relationship affects how much energy it takes and the emotional impact of things that happen while you are around that person take more energy. Managing that energy and knowing how much I need to get home when I'm out seems to be a variable I missed last week.

I guess until I can feel that balance better then "I have PTSD, and I am still learning how to deal with it." will have to do.
 

FreeSoul

Learning
Does anyone else not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week? I hate going out anywhere anymore because it's so draining. I get startled so easily even whenever I am being hypervigilant and just interacting with people at all exhausts me immensely.
I feel the same. I feel extremely exhausted when I meet people. Only in the past 3-4 years I have realised that I start absorbing other people's energy, and this really causes me to feel exhausted, tired, and unable to be who I want to be.
Like others in this post commented, I feel comfortable with those who don't suck my energy, by talking continuously. Those who talk non-stop, I shut down within seconds after meeting them.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I can leave and I do. I’ve become a recluse . I don’t mind. Everyone thinks something is wrong with and guess what? There is. Plus my relationship is extreme right now so I have an enemy in the rear, so to speak. No safety. Call the symptom whatever, I just can’t do other people and I don’t want to, except if it’s flirting. Friends no thanks . We have a neighbor thing coming up but I won’t talk. They have to pull it out of me, I learned my lesson the last neighborhood I lived. Don’t talk to anyone, and nobody really cares anyway. They have their own problems . It’s impossible to get in and out of the car without forgetting stuff, if I have to worry about saying hi or not? I don’t have the capacity lol.
 
E

eli_roberts

yes, you need to be very assertive about your time and if required provide pre-thought up excuses so people will let you leave. If the person refuses to respect your boundaries, then you may have to limit contact or cease contact. This is done slowly because this person may respond by becoming even more demanding ..
 

grief

Sponsor
i do have friends and i do like to socialize with them. but i am known for suddenly leaving. face to face or on voice chat. after a certain point i stop being able to be a person. there is no way that i could commit to doing anything like that. and i would obsess and stay awake for 2 days beforehand because brain. the primary reason my friend group and i get along is that the pressure to "do stuff" is not really there. we just hang out and talk. come and go. that helps a lot.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Does anyone Belse not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week?
Yes. I have always felt this way, since I was little. I don't think that with me it's anxiety (or anything else); it's just who I am. I used to be awful at setting boundaries, but much better (and much healthier) now.
This also improves when you improve.
I agree, if it is a result of anxiety or trauma. But with me, it is natural - I've always been an introvert, and that's not going to change.
 

Lynxx

New Here
I get exhausted too when i'm around people. I don't even have to be interacting with people. Simply just going to store and being among people wears me out. I believe its being hyper aware of what every person is doing around me, keeping an eye on my surroundings and then also trying to remember what i went into the store to get. I usually never remember anything once i walk through the doors. I really need to make a list.
 
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