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Lack of Social Skills due to CFS?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by RedLineBoy, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. RedLineBoy


    I feel that I no longer am able to enjoy hanging out or be around large group of feel. I feel cold and quite. I don't interact much and if I do I'm not sure what to say anymore.

    I was not like this I used to be very out going and starting conversation with people back in 2005 and 2006. What happen to my communication skills?

    Is this normal? do many of you feel withdraw from engagement activity?

    I'm not depressed. I don't feel depressed, but I know clinically I feel down. But, not down enough to enjoy activity.

    Any idea?
    merylg, Beyond and August59 like this.
  2. chronix


    Probably has something to do with the cognitive deficits and sensory overload in CFS. A lot of concentration is needed in conversation - at least relatively speaking. When in larger groups you can multiply that need.

    This makes online communication my preferred choice. I can do it on my own time, I can go back and correct errors, and even delete something if it's nonsensical.

    I also suffer from mild Bell's Palsy which means I slur and stutter a lot since getting ill. This just makes conversation more difficult and even embarrassing at times.

    In line with the general demeanour of an ill person, I have less of a need to talk to people since getting this disease. I just actively avoid talking to anyone if I can help it. With that said I do wonder where I would've been if it wasn't for the internet and social media in terms of connecting with others who share my pain.

    No depression here, either.
    merylg and Beyond like this.
  3. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member


    It's common for us.

    We have "brain fog" and it's harder to think of words.

    It's harder to listen to someone else. It takes a lot of energy to hear each word and then understand what they meant by the words.

    Some of us are depressed, at least mildly. Some are not and that is great!

    Yes I withdraw from socializing.
    merylg and Beyond like this.
  4. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

    Washington , DC area
    I feel that way, but I've always been that way, so I can't blame illness. My social interaction skills have always been for shit. I thought I mightbe mildly autistic, but reading about autism, I learned that autistics are usually bad with social cues or sensing other people's feelings. I'm really good at that part. Its communicating that I suck at. :confused:
    merylg likes this.
  5. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

    Upstate SC, USA

    I was the exact same way. I still try to get in a crowd, but just like you said I don't know what to say and that just gums my mind up.
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I actually dont withdraw from engagement activity unless Im very tired. I love to have company. (I dont have any depression and are very social when I can be.. Im socially restricted thou as I cant drive or go out anywhere alone due to my collapses).

    I cant talk in groups thou as I have central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) as one of my ME symptoms and when I get in a group and people around me are talking.. I struggle to focus and distinguish someone who is talking to me from others (all the voices can start merging in together).

    I also find it near impossible to chat in real life when it gets more then me and just one other as my brain is always a step behind of the convo, by the time Im made sense and formulated what to say, the chat has moved on.

    If you clinically feel down, you may in fact have some depression.
  7. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    I find that in large groups I can no longer follow what everyone is saying and it all sounds like a big blur to me. My family has wonderful gatherings( as an example) and there is lots of happy conversation and loud laughter. It's hard for me to pick out the bits and follow them - like trying to see one colourful parrot in a flock. I need to keep going and lying down and coming back in. Really love these gatherings but it just takes so much physically out of me.

    Don't think that I have lost social skills or maybe it's just the wrong word for me. One thing I have noticed is that I don't like "small talk" now and when I engage people it tends to be focussed. Not focussed in a serious way all the time but just focussed even if it is fun and spontaneous. I can't be bothered spending my limited energy and strength with people I don't get on with and are not likely to get on with. Rationing means I need to pick my situations and be very fussy.
    merylg, Beyond and rosie26 like this.
  8. Beyond

    Beyond Juice Me Up, Scotty!!!

    Murcia, Spain
    Yeah I have this, and I had problems before but since being sick they are much more rampant. Simply put, we are too sick right now to seek and enjoy the complex interactions of large groups (especially of youngsters!). It is because what chronix said, but also because at an emotional and psychological level we are in other band of frequency. This is pretty fascinating stuff for me since I have some degree of Aspergers or something like that (names names names who needs them) and is crystal clear for me that you need certain degree of health and functionality to be able to socially engage succesfully. In the future I hope I can explore this and find the biochemical and physiological reasons, from hormones to neurotransmitters to irreversible brain physical anomalies.

    Bluntly, one of the reasons why I hate being around people of my (young) age is that they are full of health and enjoying their life and that pisses me off.

    I am depressed, sometimes a lot.
    rosie26 likes this.
  9. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

    I have had long periods since getting ill where I need to 'retreat' to my cave (my bedroom). I'm still trying to work and it takes SO MUCH effort to follow conversations and understand what I need to know to do my job... that it pretty much wipes me out and makes it difficult for me to have anything but the easiest conversations at home.

    Even then? I find I have a lot of trouble with brain fog, difficulty selecting the right name or word... and I'm more easily irritated and find I keep catching myself interrupting. It's like I am afraid I can't get my sentence out if I wait too long as I'm afraid I'll tune out. Let's just say that none of this is good for my career. My best bet right now is to type up the things I want to say as for some reason my fingers can get the words out easier than my mouth. AND by the time I'm done typing, the conversation can flow easily without me interrupting inappropriately. Of course, half the time the sentence I typed isn't the one I need by that point; but at least I'm not interrupting with something that ended up being unnecessary. It does slow me down... but if it helps me keep my job in the meantime, it's worth it.

    I'm not depressed right now, but have been in the past. But the 'retreat' was more of a survival instinct type of thing as opposed to depression. I needed that 'off' time where I didn't need to communicate so I could recharge.
    merylg likes this.

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