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Like Summer Walker I also live with Social Anxiety Disorder. I was recently diagnosed but I’ve been living with it my entire life. If you know me in IRL you probably noticed my “extreme shyness” (I go to parties and don’t talk to anyone for example). Social Anxiety Disorder can be DEBILITATING! Or not. It depends on how Society responds to the person with Social Anxiety. disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder isn’t obvious! You can be beautiful and talented and still have Social Anxiety Disorder (look at me, lol… honestly joking omg). Social Anxiety Disorder is often formed after a person has experienced a traumatic event that leaves them feeling not good enough to be a part of society. Social Anxiety Disorder isn't just shyness - it’s isolation. Typically the person experiencing SOcial Anxiety Disorder is isolating THEMSELF because they’re afraid their presence will harm society. Its IRRATIONAL but that’s one of the hallmarks of an Anxiety Disorder.
- If you suspect a person has Social Anxiety Disorder - mocking them, dismissing them, saying they’re Anti-social, or pointing out their talents to prove they don’t have Social Anxiety Disorder is VERY DAMAGING. By doing so you’re practically assuring the person with Social Anxiety Disorder won’t open up to you.
- If a friend admits to you that they have Social Anxiety Disorder or struggle with another form of anxiety - DON’T BE DISMISSIVE! It took a lot for them to be vulnerable with you and it means they really trust you. Don’t give them a reason to believe they placed their trust in the wrong person. They will start to doubt themself.
- If it really makes you uncomfortable that a person isn’t extroverted, interactive, etc - LOOK INWARD! It is NOT a personal judgment on you. Some people are so scared they’re going to make the wrong move, they freeze. It’s not you, it's them, AND THEY KNOW IT. Don’t punish them further for being afraid. Instead, ask yourself why you need to be loved and admired by everyone you meet.
- A LOT of creative people have Social Anxiety Disorder. A LOT of creative people turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with their Social Anxiety Disorder so they can deliver their gifts to the public, and end up tragic documentary figures on E! Be empathetic so we don’t resort to self-destructive behaviors. It really cost nothing to be empathetic (except to realize that your actions impact people and you’re not the center of the universe). Creative People are putting themselves out there ALL THE TIME - so if they say they have Social Anxiety Disorder and are honest about their limitations - LET THEM LIVE.
There’s probably a bunch more I can write on the subject but this post is getting long. Anyway, SHOUTOUT to all the warriors and baddies with Social Anxiety Disorder. We matter.
Written by Liz, be sure to follow her on twitter @blackbirdblues