In the course of writing my blog, I have talked in great detail about my social anxiety. My series “My Social Anxiety Life” has spanned over eight parts. I will link the last three at the end of this paragraph. In Part nine, I want to talk about what is social anxiety. I will write through experience as always, but I will get technical as it pertains to my own social anxiety. It can be different for each person that suffers from social anxiety.
My Social Anxiety Life Part Nine – What is Social Anxiety?
These are my thoughts on social anxiety.
What is social anxiety? To me is it’s an overwhelming anxiety in all social situations. It is a constant self-consciousness feeling. It is a feeling of the people around you judging your every move. It’s going over every scenario in your mind that could go wrong. It is every situation that brings you beyond your safe place. Its fearing doctor’s appointments, going for a cup of coffee or going to the movies.
It’s a chronic fear of humiliation before you step outside your door. It can be overwhelming, and the biggest part of social anxiety? It’s not leaving your house for long periods of time.
This is how my social anxiety life is from day today. It includes some of the worst anxiety that always leads to my worst panic attacks. In my experience, my social anxiety has been the hardest thing I deal with on a daily basis. I can get myself out of most depression cycles. During Christmas, I had to deal with a small depression cycle, but I got on the other side of it.
My social anxiety is different. It could mean me canceling plans at the last minute. This happens more than I would care to admit. The chronic nature of social anxiety is taking any positive thinking and distorting it in negative thinking. Catastrophizing thoughts seem to consume. The fear of social situations become my every thought. The distorting of every thought that running through your mind can turn in to severe anxiety. It can end in a never-ending cycle for weeks or months.
The question then becomes this, can social anxiety be dangerous?
The answer is yes, it can be. Negative thoughts associated with social anxiety can lead to a negative feeling towards people. In my life, my social anxiety has to lead to isolation and I have lost most of the friends I accumulated in my life. I still have people that care, but for the most part, people avoid making plans with me. My friends know that any plans that they make with me are never set in stone.
The worst part? The isolation that comes with social anxiety can lead to depression.It can become an endless cycle of anxiety and depression. Withdrawing from society was very hard for me. Even though I prefer the isolation being introvert it can be hard to deal with the daily grind. I lost three years of my life to the constant depression and anxiety. My social anxiety was the underlying factor. I wish I learned early on to just breathe.
I can’t count how many times my social anxiety landed me in the hospital. It took me years to get my anxiety under control after my last suicide attempt in 2010. Even then it became an issue again in 2016. Since then I have to try to find my triggers and 2018 is going to be the year that I get it back under control.
This is what social anxiety is for me, it’s my social anxiety life.
I have captured what social anxiety is in my life. My question to my fellow mental illness bloggers that deal with social anxiety is this. What does social anxiety mean in your life? How would you describe social anxiety?
Always keep Fighting.