Open Mic: Social Anxiety Disorder

CaptureWelcome to our second submission of Open Mic.  I would like the readers to go easy on these submitted posts for a while.  The Open Mic idea isn’t going to work if all we do is kill the author’s spirit for even giving it a go.  Be on your best behaviour until we all get the feel of this.  Thanks.

People take their social lives for granted. They have friends, go out on dates, go to the local play.

For someone with Social Anxiety Disorder (like myself) these things bring dread into their lives. I love the solitude of being alone, however doing any of the above things bring an automatic feeling of panic.

Most people have had the fear of public speak, now extend that fear into public eating, talking, going on trips, cycling, anywhere there are more than one person. It’s a fear that shouldn’t be rational.

Dying of Embarrassment – a book about social anxiety, says:

Social phobia is a disorder characterized by the persistent fear of criticism or rejection by others. People with social phobias fear they may behave in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating”

My parents thought I was shy from age 10, that I couldn’t look people in the face. I had a stammer, had friends at school but not that many who visited or stayed overnight at home.  Never had (or went to) a birthday party, never joined scouts or did athletics.

This disorder has affected my adult life (I’m 36), still haven’t learn’t to drive, no social life (don’t go out on the town after work), shockingly I have never had a girlfriend.
You constantly think something out of your control is going to happen.
It’s the fear, it robs you in so many ways.

2 Years ago while browsing through Youtube I came across a documentary about shyness, how it was hard for some people to socialize. They talked about Social Anxiety which gave me something to look up and research.

Little by little, I am getting better (I have traveled for the first time last year to Australia), I try to eat out at lunchtime in places I have never been. I have a job I’m very good at and lots of fellow workers to interact with. The fear will probably be a part of me til the day I die, but at least I’m starting to learn how to live and deal with it.

For people who want to learn more I would suggest “Dying of Embarrassment : Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia” by Barbara Markway and starting out in the website.


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