Let's get real for a second.
I am a sufferer of a disorder called social anxiety. I in fact do take medication for it - for my anxiety and depression. I am a firm believer of taking pills for mental disorders, if it is in fact helping you personally. It does not work on everyone. I do not believe I would even be here if it were not for them. Addicted? No, more-so if I wish to be a productive human being they help me keep my symptoms down.
Social anxiety is the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance. It is a pervasive disorder and causes anxiety and fear in most all areas of a person's life. It is chronic because it does not go away on its own. To do that you would have to change the brain
Ever since I can remember, I have always been an introvert. (P.s. you can be an introvert without having social anxiety). My shyness however was extremely different from the other kids. While they grew out of it throughout the years, mine continuously got worse.
People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested.
I would black out in high-stressful situations, shake rapidly, my head would stiffen uncontrollably, sweat, turn red, and eventually I would break down and cry (in private usually). What about? Anything. Ordering my food, talking to ANYONE not of my household family (randomly even them), entering a room knowing anyone could look at me. I had a fear of interaction.
People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations:
- Being introduced to other people
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched or observed while doing something
- Having to say something in a formal, public situation
- Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures")
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don’t know what to say.")
- Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing, shaking)
- Meeting other peoples’ eyes
- Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in publicThis list is not a complete list of symptoms -- other symptoms may be associated with social anxiety as well.
Interaction was only the beginning. Interaction meant judgement. Judgement then automatically lead to "they hate me." For no reason what-so-ever I felt I was not loved. I was hated. Due to obvious reasons, this lead me to become very depressed. I hated myself. I wanted to be someone else and envied others. I remember countless times I would be going home with my mom after school crying about how my thoughts were constantly telling me "no one likes you" "you are not worth it" "no one will ever love you." My mom would be the typical mother and tell me how much people do love me, yadda yadda. It did not help. Nothing could get those thoughts out of my head. They were not voices in my head, but those thoughts would never stop cycling.
People with social anxiety typically know that their anxiety is irrational, is not based on fact, and does not make rational sense. Nevertheless, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and are chronic (i.e., show no signs of going away).
I wanted friends. I wanted to be able to communicate my thoughts because I knew I had a lot to offer. I wanted to love others and yet my body would not allow it. It felt vacant. There was an invisible barrier. I could see what I COULD have: acceptance and human touch. I wanted to love so badly. My anxiety physically and mentally held me back. The more I wanted it the more my symptoms got worse.
Paradoxically, people with social anxiety want to make friends, be included in groups, and be involved and engaged in social interactions. But having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do the things they want to do. Although people with social anxiety want to be friendly, open, and sociable, it is fear (anxiety) that holds them back.
I am still an awkward/quiet thing that people still can tell "she is different." The thoughts about people not liking me, yes they are still there. The medication does not rid me of my obsessive thoughts. It does halt those symptoms from occurring and helps me relax and I slowly work through whatever is occurring at the moment. My medication provides symptomatic relief and allows me to accomplish things I would not otherwise have been able to do at the time. It will never cure me of it or attack the root of it. But I can finally function and get thru the day.
I receive a lot of negativity for my use of medications for my mental disorder and still even for the fact I am still too quiet. People think you can just change, that is ridiculous. Everyone is different. Not only that but everyone's brain works differently too. Don't tell us to relax, don't sweat the small things, just do it. Please don't say to us "why are you so quiet?" "I got over it, why can't you?" "I know how you feel, I am shy too." "Social anxiety isn't a real disorder." It is a disorder that affects every aspect of our daily life. It is irresponsible and rude to debate the legitimacy of something if you know little about it and have not experienced it firsthand. Those comments really affect us with it and is a big reason why most sufferers never seek help. It is offensive to me to hear all my hard work of trying to be "myself" goes unseen and unappreciated.
How does this all relate back to my fashion blog. Simple. My fashion is a great escape for me. As I have had on my bio for this blog since I started it: In our society, people do judge a book by its cover. Your style is something for them to look at. My simple choices of outfits help me show the world who I am. I am not required to speak, or put on a show for you. All you have to do is look at me and you can see what type of person I am. "But you do not like to be looked at?" Yes so true, however, I can never avoid that. I have to get over it. My style helps me do so because it, again, is my escape. I (personally) feel I am a great stylist. I can show people my talent without a spoken word.
Social media is very simple to conceal my personal life. I feel I have two personas and have come to the conclusion I want to be completely honest with my readers. I want people to see I am a real person. I have issues like everyone else and I want people to start to understand what people with S.A.D. are going through. Research before you debate with someone on something so personal. You do not know the harm you could be causing with just one sentence. Instead, love them and accept them. That is all they wish to feel.
Information on this post courtesy of socialphobia.org