What Is Social Anxiety
Living with social anxiety is a touchy subject for most, especially for me. It is a mental disorder that I kept a secret simply because it causes much mortification in my life. I have lost many friends as a result. Social anxiety is a mental disorder that brings about fear or discomfort in an individual when faced with social interactions. There are two types of social anxiety: severe and mild. I have mild social anxiety, which means that I can be thrown into the public without having fears. My discomfort and fear is sporadic; I never know when I am going to have it, and most of the time I am just fine in a social environment.
Those who have severe anxiety have the feeling of discomfort and nervousness every single time they have a social encounter. Walking in a store makes them nervous, going to the movies, school — anything that pertains to people — makes them feel uncomfortable. Some have become a recluse because they don’t want to deal with being fearful all the time. When you come in close proximity of a lot of people, your heart starts to race uncontrollably, your body shakes, your voice cracks, and it is an annoying feeling, especially when it transpires all the time.
What Causes Social Anxiety
When someone cultivates social anxiety, it is brought on by a number of things, which includes genes, certain medications or life experiences. My social anxiety came about through life experiences. While I was in elementary school, I was a child who was full of life and energy who relished the notion of being on stage performing dance routines with my friends. During lunch time, we would create a quick routine and performed it. I loved it. During my 5th grade graduation, my class and I sang the song “I believe I can fly.” I didn’t have stage freight or feel any nervous sensations.
As soon as I entered middle school, my life changed and I didn’t recognized the young woman I was becoming. I was ridiculed by other children, including my own brother. They would ridicule me because of my skin condition. I have eczema as well as sensitive skin. When I developed the chicken pox, it left dark marks on my arms and legs. You can only imagine how much my self-esteem plummeted after that. I began wearing long sleeve shirts, jackets, and pants throughout the entire year, including summers. I believe that is when I was ridiculed the most. Although the dark scars are gone from my arms and legs, I still feel as though they are there. Scars can leave, but the pain still remains.
Once I got to high school, girls disliked me for no reason. None of these individuals had ever held a conversation with me but would look at me in a detestable way when I’d pass them by. They spread horrible rumors about me, and I am glad that I was strong enough to get through my high schools and disregarding the negative energy that the students at my school exuded.
My Experience With Social Anxiety
Living with social anxiety is no picnic in the park as it is a constant battle of vexation. I can’t enter a facility without asking myself these questions: How many people are going to be there? Are they going to look at me when I walk in? Am I going to have to wait in line among a crowd of people? I don’t have the freedom of arriving at an establishment and solely execute what I went there to do. Other things cross my mind and it is an irritant. These are not thoughts or feelings that I can control.
Living with this mental disorder has caused me to quit jobs, which were paying a decent amount of revenue, due to the fact that I couldn’t deal with people all day. I feel that retail is a terrible place to work if you have social anxiety. I have been working in retail for years, and I do not have good things to say about it, because I have never encountered a moment where I have stated, “I enjoy being in this facility.” I argued with people, they were rude all the time, and I think it stemmed from my personality. Customers love it when you are jovial and enthusiastic. When they would come to my line or if I would assist them, I would have a poker face and speak to them with no energy and they misconstrued that as an attitude.
I think people need to be more lenient with others because you never know who has a mental disorder. Right now, I work from home and I absolutely love it! I am an independent author, freelance writer, blogger, affiliate marketer, independent contractor, founder of the Virtual Employment Agency, and owner of an online jewelry store, A.N.S Jewels . I am also in the midst of starting an online clothing store at Etsy where I will sell designs created by me. I love to sew. I am glad that I am able to generate income as well as catapult myself into entrepreneurship from home while having this mental disorder. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do anything, so I’m grateful.
What You Can Do to Control Social Anxiety
My initial title of this section was going to be “What you can do to overcome social anxiety,” but I quickly deleted it because you can never really overcome it. All you can do is accept it and learn how to work around it. I believe that my social anxiety is not that bad because I put myself in social situations all the time. I do not like the feeling of being fearful or uncomfortable around people so I force myself to go out and be around people. If you do not do this, your disorder gets the best of you. You want to live your life and not permit a mental disorder limit what you want to do. Force yourself and eventually you will become acclimated to being around people, and it won’t bother you as much.
Types of Careers for Individuals With Social Anxiety
Those who have social anxiety often ponder what careers may be available to them. The mental disorder can be a hindrance for most as it is for me since my dream has always been to become a teacher. Although I am still pursuing that dream, some individuals may not be able to put aside their anxiety and pursue their dream job like I am, even though it involves people. Having a career that has little contact with people may be the appropriate choice. Here is a list of some of the careers individuals with social anxiety can pursue:
Medical Technologist or Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Records and Health Technician
Health Information Manager (HIM)