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  #1  
Old 08-30-09, 06:20 AM
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Dinner Tables

Hello to all,
I have a slight,what can only be described as phobia,of sitting at dinner tables eating dinner....I have no problem with the food,the table or the people though,it is something else.

I am not even sure if it is adhd related or just something to do with past situations growing up.....

The reason for me making this post is,because my girlfriends mother asked me if I would not mind going out to a restaurant.....I am thinking of giving up on the whole socialising around dinner tables scene,I just do not like it,yea....I can manage through,and mostly enjoy it,but nearly every time I feel extraordinary nervous and have to have constant chats to myself in my head to occupy any silence.....what it is,is that I just think toooo much and can't seem to shut down,and if I were to shut down...it would result in a muted responses from both parties in my perseption.

It makes me feel bad when invited for the social eating events....friends think I am rude or there is some alternate excuse or reason concerning them.....poor you,try having to explain some thing unexplainable every dinner time.....

I am also getting to a stage ion my life where I truly am sick of explaining myself....why should I-why is yes or no,not good enough.....people actually want proof!!!Through the power of explanation,then you give one explanation,and it is not good enough for any one else so you have to make another.....if the second one is not good enough,your a liar for making up two excuses when the first was not good enough in the first place?!

I DO NOT LIKE SITTING AT DINNER TABLES!!!
think of it as a swimming pool,a red light,an exam or a spider,I just do not like it......I have faced this phobia for years,and have tried and tried,if I don't like it-I DONT LIKE IT.

Any one else like this-similar...?

Google.....t.v dinners and solitary eating,*bark*bark*,Grrrr.
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Old 08-30-09, 11:20 AM
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Re: Dinner Tables

YEAH! DUDE! YEAH! You are the first person ever to have the same phobia as me when it comes to this. I hate going out to eat, I haven't sat a table to eat dinner with my parents in YEARS. At first they always yelled at me for it, forced me, but after awhile they just let it go. I used to be forced to church and they would always drag me out to eat after wards and I hated it, eventually they stopped forcing me to church and dinner, I have always thought it stemmed from my dad always yelling at me, making fun of how lazy I was and just being a real dick.

Also, I never liked people looking at me while I eat, and I never understood the concept of going to a place to sit down and eat something... I don't like to make an event out of eating, it is just something we do. It's like having a party where everyone just sits on toilets the whole time doing their business and chatting it up.

And I know, people just don't understand. I told a gf one time I hate going out to eat and she just flipped out and called me anti-social and weird.... like it is such a big deal. And if I ever have to have dinner with the parents... omg horrible. I can't even deal with eating at a table with my own family let alone someone else's.

I never had trouble at school in the lunchroom though... dunno why that is.
Wow this is great to find someone I share this with.
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Old 08-30-09, 11:36 AM
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Re: Dinner Tables

I understand this yet this is actually not something that bothers me IF I'm at ease with the people at the meal; Because you're sitting and the food is "something to do". for me this is a safe thing. Exception: meals with a big group, I never know which conversation to follow.

I really have a problem though with walking around with a little plate and a glass and having to chat.
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Old 08-30-09, 01:17 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

It doesn't matter for me regardless of who is at the table...it is just something I like to avoid. It doesn't bother me at all, it is just my preference.
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Old 08-30-09, 01:45 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

Not really bothered by this. In fact, I would say I love all the dinner table socializing.

However, where I do get a bit flustered is when I realize many of the others are almost through with their meals.... and I am not, as I've been focused on conversation instead.
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Old 08-30-09, 09:05 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

I completely understand!!!! I used to suffer from intense anxiety whenever I had to sit down in a "formal" situation around a table — my overwhelming feeling was one of being trapped, and I often would find myself entering a panic attack, which would lead to my hands shaking, which would lead to my not being able to bring food to my mouth with a utensil, which would lead to my using ample amounts of alcohol to self-medicate before any social occasion (it worked really well, which of course was double-edged).

At age 53 (two and a half years ago), I was diagnosed with ADHD. I refused to try any medication, and instead chose to continue the seesaw between my usual high doses of caffeine and alcohol. My chronic anxiety continued in full force.

Finally, I "gave in" (read: "pulled my head out from a place where the moon don't shine") and I agreed to at least TRY a "real" ADHD medication (I'd tried "natural" approaches on and off, but nothing gave me any kind of mental traction, and my anxiety was getting worse). My doc prescribed 5 mg of Adderall XR. Within one hour of taking it, I felt calm, focused, and free from anxiety for the first time in my life (I have some theories about why the anxiety evaporated and will share them some other time). That very week, I went out to dinner with my wife and friends — I didn't drink any alcohol, because I felt no need to! — there was no anxiety, no feeling trapped, no feeling the need to attend to every conversation going on in the restaurant, no intrusive thoughts about whether everyone's heartbeat in the room mights suddenly beat in unison, etc.

For me, medication liberated me from the tyranny of "dinner table phobia." Everyone's neurochemistry is different, of course; but I believe that by bringing my neurotransmitters into greater balance I was able to be "in the present," rather than being preoccupied by feeling "different" and distracted. I now no longer feel the need to make up excuses to avoid social gatherings — quite a change....

I do sympathize with you, completely! If you are NOT on any ADHD medication, you may consider at least trying it. Adderall (for me, at least) has been effective in treating what had been runaway social anxiety for five and a half decades. AND it helps my ADHD tremendously!

Good luck!!!

— Jim
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Old 09-01-09, 07:49 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

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Originally Posted by odsybmx734 View Post
YEAH! DUDE! YEAH! You are the first person ever to have the same phobia as me when it comes to this. I hate going out to eat, I haven't sat a table to eat dinner with my parents in YEARS. At first they always yelled at me for it, forced me, but after awhile they just let it go. I used to be forced to church and they would always drag me out to eat after wards and I hated it, eventually they stopped forcing me to church and dinner, I have always thought it stemmed from my dad always yelling at me, making fun of how lazy I was and just being a real dick.

Also, I never liked people looking at me while I eat, and I never understood the concept of going to a place to sit down and eat something... I don't like to make an event out of eating, it is just something we do. It's like having a party where everyone just sits on toilets the whole time doing their business and chatting it up.

And I know, people just don't understand. I told a gf one time I hate going out to eat and she just flipped out and called me anti-social and weird.... like it is such a big deal. And if I ever have to have dinner with the parents... omg horrible. I can't even deal with eating at a table with my own family let alone someone else's.

I never had trouble at school in the lunchroom though... dunno why that is.
Wow this is great to find someone I share this with.

(WARNING!!!
I may have got carried away here....but really appreciated your post,I have never met anyone like this either,some just do not like it,but can easily manage it....This is quite a long message but I enjoyed it)

Hello bmx,(BRO!)

YES!!LOL!!Really loved the toilet humour/seriously
I'm right beside you,but not on a toilet seat.....we'll meet up and chat after we have re-fueled.

They don't want to watch it come out.....so why watch it go in?!

Walking down the street.......what would you prefer to see on the walkway;
A)A dead,headless animal,plucked/skinned,still warm from the blistering sun--With a fork in it....
B)A poo--With a fork in it.....

Now imagine two groups of crowds,one gathering around something that has been dead and iced for months traveled the country/ries in an icicled coffin(franchised truck),and the other is gathered around a fresh,no more than a day old creation....

1)Is a restaurant,
2)Is an art gallery.

Ok then....
Dinner tables-
It is just......Hard work trying to explain this to anyone,even people who I have told 3 and 4 times,I've tried and tried and tried and it gets no easier...sometimes I just want to get up a leave but I'll battle through,stuborn and adhd'ed
How do they manage to aim,use both hands,talk with their mouths empty.....watch and think about what they say and all simultaneously all at the same time....oh yeah and constant eye contact....Weirdos lol


Today even,I was saying to a friend,"If I don't like it,I don't like it....I'm not explaining myself to people anymore!I am at a certain age now where I need to do what I want to do....and if that means I am not eating around a dinner table,so what.I have tried,and tried my whole life,why?"

Some times I can do it....but need to get drunk,but then there is the impulse drunk issues-and the wicked adhd addiction side...I function on booze better,but I want to be able to buy my own and not have to beg in the street because I have no job no where to live and a black eye.....but I do like a drink,and at this precise moment am now happy!!!!Because jamesbo has just reminded me,I have beers in the fridge!!(i have been having trouble getting to sleep lately.....sleeping pills have a bad effect on me)

The Irony of it All

Dinner Tables....What kind of animals are we!Sometimes it looks more like a graveyard than a Social Gathering.....How very strange.

Now this is a real-life problem,for some people only meet up for this occassion or to celebrate a special occasion....and I am unsure if it is adhd related or up-bringing related,I can relate it to both very clearly....maybe this is the result of both;

Upbringing-Step dad used to make the animal noises of the meat on the plate at the dinner table when I was a kid.Mum used to give me the gone off milk,and my brother the fresh one for cereal....more than twice,at least and am pretty sure I remember her giving me the fatty nasty bits of meat.....have some food issues,for obvious reasons.....oh and once I messed my jaw,really bad,and my mum was shouting at me to eat the food....I was trying to speak to her to comunicate that I could not open my mouth let alone eat,but had to try to get her to stop shouting at me...Wow,this is just pooring out of me,need a Shrink "I THINK". My jaw ended up all colours of the rainbow,not broken!(everyone was surprised at this),people were coming and knocking at the door to look at the freak....eating out of straws for go knows how long....

ADHD-Because of hyper focus on the food at the dinner table,this makes it very difficult to concerntrate on manners(i have no problem with table manners,but it is just another thing popping in and out of my head checking every few seconds) and conversations.
When my step dad was telling me details of the animals and making the noises.....I would imagine the animal and try to figure out what I was eating....then because it would interest me,I would read too much into the eating process Err.When I found out about sausages....

Hunter Gatherer theory-Hunt the food down in packs,kill it fight over it.....some fight over the food afterwards now-trying to pay to get the authority and gratitude from the rest of the pack,as if he had done the killing himself....
Maybe the adhd mind was a solitary hunter gatherer....that would explain a lot....why would another animal get banished from it's peers-if it did not comform,I work alone,or I am in charge(mostly but sometimes need to put food on the table....well lap lol)

Sorry I've gone on so long....you would have thought i had a beer....no,getting one now

........Err tastes horrible,but does the job,I guess,might taste better if I was to get someone just to hit me with it,then I could get some Zzz's

Goggle
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Old 09-01-09, 08:04 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesbo198 View Post
I completely understand!!!! I used to suffer from intense anxiety whenever I had to sit down in a "formal" situation around a table my overwhelming feeling was one of being trapped, and I often would find myself entering a panic attack, which would lead to my hands shaking, which would lead to my not being able to bring food to my mouth with a utensil, which would lead to my using ample amounts of alcohol to self-medicate before any social occasion (it worked really well, which of course was double-edged).

At age 53 (two and a half years ago), I was diagnosed with ADHD. I refused to try any medication, and instead chose to continue the seesaw between my usual high doses of caffeine and alcohol. My chronic anxiety continued in full force.

Finally, I "gave in" (read: "pulled my head out from a place where the moon don't shine") and I agreed to at least TRY a "real" ADHD medication (I'd tried "natural" approaches on and off, but nothing gave me any kind of mental traction, and my anxiety was getting worse). My doc prescribed 5 mg of Adderall XR. Within one hour of taking it, I felt calm, focused, and free from anxiety for the first time in my life (I have some theories about why the anxiety evaporated and will share them some other time). That very week, I went out to dinner with my wife and friends I didn't drink any alcohol, because I felt no need to! there was no anxiety, no feeling trapped, no feeling the need to attend to every conversation going on in the restaurant, no intrusive thoughts about whether everyone's heartbeat in the room mights suddenly beat in unison, etc.

For me, medication liberated me from the tyranny of "dinner table phobia." Everyone's neurochemistry is different, of course; but I believe that by bringing my neurotransmitters into greater balance I was able to be "in the present," rather than being preoccupied by feeling "different" and distracted. I now no longer feel the need to make up excuses to avoid social gatherings quite a change....

I do sympathize with you, completely! If you are NOT on any ADHD medication, you may consider at least trying it. Adderall (for me, at least) has been effective in treating what had been runaway social anxiety for five and a half decades. AND it helps my ADHD tremendously!

Good luck!!!

Jim
Hello Jimbo,

I have so much to say and ask about your post as well,but am afrain my fingers are starting to cramp after my post to bmx....but want to come back to discuss the points of alchohol v's meds....that may sound dramatic but both work and am pleased to here that meds work for you,because I am in the exact some position as you discribed....It would be nice to do that.

We had dinner at the inlaws instead,because they know I have a couple of issues.....and the food is better
I am chuffed for myself that I can handle the dinner table at the girl friends parents house,so far it has ran swimmingly(not possible?WEll it is if I am at the dinner table).....but think that her parents did not understand fully the severity of it because I handled it so well at their house.....even though it is a bit of a battle I have done this on a few occasions now,but know the day is coming when everyone is around the table and I will not be there.....for the strange weird reasons I can not and really do not want to,the explaination is the annoying bit....

But it is a nice occasion when it goes well...So another tick in the medication box.Thank you for your information and experience!

Google
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Old 09-01-09, 08:19 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

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Originally Posted by Grafter View Post
Not really bothered by this. In fact, I would say I love all the dinner table socializing.

However, where I do get a bit flustered is when I realize many of the others are almost through with their meals.... and I am not, as I've been focused on conversation instead.
Hello Grafter,

That is very interesting for me and speaks volumes of the difference choices that indevidual adders make....be it voluntarily or by sub-conscience taking the choice.

This is mainly because I hyper-focus(or stare...)at my food mostly,I do make the effort to look up and do try and can mostly just fake it and no-one will notice......but my god do I notice it,the effort and sheer awkwardness I feel.

I hate that at the end of a meal when you can just here a fork tapping up the last pieces off the plate,with everyone looking....but not(if that makes sence),listening is probably a better discription.....I know what a better discription is!!!!

We can see and here them thinking what we are doing....when they are not looking and we can not here them listening.....that's it....

I'm going to stop writing now as have seemingly gotten carried away on this thread....

Apologies(Just remembered you are a moderator...)...

It is just exciting that people know what I mean,even people who do not have the problem understand.I have never been able to 'chat' about it...ever.

Ty

Google
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Old 09-01-09, 11:28 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

hey google, sorry i havent been keeping up with this thread, ill post soon when i come back to read it all.
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Old 09-01-09, 11:48 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

Dining at a table doesn't really faze me. In fact, I quite enjoy a nice meal and a pleasant chat with people.

But at the height of my social anxiety, it used to be uncomfortable as I thought everyone was watching how much I ate, or how I ate my food. Nowadays, I don't care.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:15 AM
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Re: Dinner Tables

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Originally Posted by odsybmx734 View Post
hey google, sorry i havent been keeping up with this thread, ill post soon when i come back to read it all.
Hello bmx,(Bro!)

No problem,I had to do some nt things the last couple of days ,and sorry I did not get back sooner,myself.

This may have to be a pm thread,because it is only really me and you....I have already washed my dirty laundry in public though.....And one cured fellow Bro!

Googles
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Old 09-03-09, 04:06 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

I'm the same way, though my worst is going to the movies. In both situations it almost scares me because I feel trapped. I hate going out to eat because there is so much just sitting there. You come in, sit down, order drink, WAIT, order food, WAIT, eat, WAIT... omg the after you eat waiting is the worst. I can not handle it. I wish we could just get the check with the food. No I don't want desert, seconds, anything... bring my check with my food so as soon as I'm done I get stop sitting in the stupid little booth. And oh gosh if I have to sit on the inside of a booth. I freak out, I can not handle just sitting around and talking at a dinner table. I like to go for a walk, run, anything but sitting at a table. My favorite place to talk is in a car.

Movies make me crazy for the same reason. When I watch a movie at home I am almost always doing something else. Usually playing on my computer, drawing, painting, knitting... something. Then when the movie gets more interesting I pay attention and put down the other stuff for a few min but then when I get bored I have something else to do while I listen and watch. I hate hate hate going to movies. Can not stand it... haven't been to one in over 3 years now and everyone always gets mad at me but I just can't do it. It's like torture to me to be forced to sit in a dark theater by a bunch of boring people watching a movie that is more often than not pretty crappy.
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Old 09-03-09, 04:39 PM
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Re: Dinner Tables

Hello m1trLG2,

Nice post!It is good to have another member to our ever growing posse of outlaws(casts)....I like to eat when walking!And I am not ashamed to admit it,lol

I enjoy talking in the car,but depends on the company and destinations.......in my job I have to meet new people very often,and find it difficult to be myself,impossible really,and it is better off that way,lol

I can handle the theatre,but prefer my own space and having control of the buttons,control the volume,brightness,pause and rewind,Nice.....then there is toilet breaks.....I got lost the last time 10 minute hike!!And the film was titled MIRRORS,omg they were everywhere....I was so deeply into the film,it was freaking me out....no one else about and my mind wondering....'What if...?!',

*scream*slap hands-on-face*RunAway!!*-not necessarily in that specific order.

Dinner tables suck....That is why cowboys are always fighting,and flipping tables over.They are making a stand against the conformists...sitting on chairs at TABLES..... "Get that table outta here!!" ,and, "...eat with your hands!!"



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