Am I Just Shy?
As I child, I remember avoiding public places, conversations that were longer than a few seconds and any eye contact. I never saw it as much. Maybe I was shy? Maybe I just didn’t like people? Was this normal? Was it normal not being able to socialize? Attempting to speak to those unfamiliar faces around you in hopes of making a new friend. Wanting to make new friends but physically not capable. Growing up, one never knows about the outside world. The disorders. Diseases. Violence. Wars. The Social Anxiety.
Parents and loved ones
focus only on showing us the wonderful, beautiful things that life has to offer. Was this a good raising? Would the impact be less if one is raised slowly knowing about the dangers in life. Knowing about different disorders? Or is it just better to grow up loving unicorns and rainbows and then being shattered as a young adult when you discover the real entity that composes our Earth? If I would’ve grown up knowing about certain disorders, I would’ve automatically known that I had been suffering from social anxiety.
My “shyness” wasn’t shyness. It was extreme social anxiety.
Not being able to look people in the eye, not being able to continue more than hello’s in conversations. I do have to admit, my growing up was a fairytale. My parents and brother would spoil me, the baby, of the family. I was always the one with the most gifts under the tree, always getting what I wanted for dinner and always getting my way. Looking back on it, I was extremely spoiled- well educated spoiled- if I do say so myself! I wasn’t one of these responsive brats who speak back if they didn’t get their way. I would remain quiet and just take whatever came.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America
anxiety is defined as “the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations”. Basically, I like to take this definition and think of it as, being scared of being judged by others around you. Even if you don’t know them. It is believed that about 15 million Americans deal with some degree of social anxiety and the typical onset is around 13 years old. Social anxiety can cause any symptoms experienced from regular anxiety which include pounding heart, confusion, sweating, shaking, muscle tension and upset stomach. According to the social anxiety institute, social anxiety has been ranked as the “third largest psychological disorder in the country”. Depression and alcoholism take the top two spots.
There are two forms of social anxiety
which include one form where one is afraid to speak in front of large groups of people. The second form is generalized social anxiety. This type of social anxiety is related to being nervous and uncomfortable in any social situation that you might have to face. The anxiety is believed to come from the anticipatory “anxiety, worry, indecision, embarrassment and feelings of inferiority. Although this is a very common disorder seen throughout, there is hope! The social anxiety institute has stated that cognitive- behavioral therapy has been proven successful! This therapy focuses on re-wiring the brain to accept rational thoughts, beliefs, emotions and perceptions.
Sources: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/disorder/ http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/what-is-social-anxiety https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder
The “Not all wounds are visible” necklace and bracelet set serves as an awareness for us or our loved ones who are suffering for anxiety disorders. We are here and feel pain even if the wounds aren’t visible. This set is available at Awkwardly Social.