I never really understood what social anxiety was until I started to have mental health issues. During high school, it was a pretty tough time and I began to dislike myself a lot. Losing confidence in the way I looked but then that started to make me withdraw from society itself.
I felt like everyday when I walked into high school that I was being stared at all the time and being judged at everything I did. Yes, I was bullied for my ginger hair and other things too that still haunts me to this day, I even go under a new name because of how much it traumatized me.
When I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and anorexia they told me to research into them so I could gain a better understanding of what they were. So, when I looked up what anxiety was I didn’t realise how many different types of anxiety disorders there were!
Here are just a few of those that I discovered;
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Now, PTSD is when something that has either scared or traumatized you from a previous event that has happened to you. This can cause lack of sleep and even your daily life.
For more information on PTSD; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
So, with OCD this is when someone begins to have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. If someone has a fear of dirt and doesn’t want to catch an illness, this can cause anxiety to the person and then they would do everything to get rid of every spec of dirt with compulsive cleaning.
For more information on OCD; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/
Then, I came across what I didn’t realise would become a huge part of my life, Social Anxiety. Some other people like to call it ‘Social Phobia’, but this is when the person is afraid of social situations. This anxiety can be very overwhelming but people just assume that it’s shyness but it’s much more than that! It can take over your life, your relationships and friendships causing you to be alone.
This affected me so much during the remaining years of high school as I stopped going out after school to play with my ‘friends’. I started to just come home and then go straight up to my bedroom where I would isolate myself and spend hours on my laptop.
This is the period where I gained a love for the famous Youtuber known as ‘PewDiePie’. I saw him as a getaway from reality and everytime I watched his videos, I was laughing! I remember watching him when he first started to upload to Youtube and now I see him he’s come so far with his career and never gave up his dreams.
Social Anxiety caused me to lose not just my friends but also myself too. To this day I still don’t recognise myself as I can’t remember who I really was. All I remember is that I used to love going out, exploring the wilderness and enjoy being around people, socialising. But, now I can’t even go out the house without someone I know acompioning me. I feel like a prisoner inside my own mind, it’s a very dark place.
Over the years I have done more research about what help there is out there for people who suffer with social anxiety. So I’ve put together some of the tips that helped me get through some of the hardest times;
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any other tips on how to deal with any type of anxiety then please let me know! For more information on anxiety disorders please check out these websites that I found helpful too;
Different Forms Of Anxiety - TWE Article; https://teenagerswithexperience.weebly.com/guest-articles/the-many-forms-of-anxiety
How To Deal With Anxiety - TWE Article; https://teenagerswithexperience.weebly.com/guest-articles/dealing-with-anxiety-and-panic-attacks-what-to-do