"The most useful step I’ve taken in the battle against my anxiety is to share my experience with friends and family. For a long time, I was ashamed of my affliction and incredibly reluctant to share it. Things I’d read in the media and been told by my peers lead me to believe that mental illness was a weakness and not something readily admitted – particularly not by an adolescent male."
Young Peter Salter wrote a very good piece about social anxiety and panic attacks. The best part, however, is the thread that follows. Loads of advice, links, encouragement, and readers sharing their experiences. Go read it. (via guardiancomment)
It’s irksome to me though that EVEN though anxiety is explained well and from a personal perspective in the article, there have to be a few people in the comments who are like “But is this a disease? Don’t lots of people commonly get nervous before big social events?” I take it they’ve never experience a panic attack then or they wouldn’t be wondering if it’s ‘really that bad’. Jitters is to social anxiety as is one bee to a hive of wasps. Social anxiety disorder/general anxiety disorder can put you in the hospital. Me? I get related tachycardia and I had to endure some testing.
It really is from a lack of awareness though. People just don’t understand because of the stigma around discussing it, as the article points out. I do feel like it’s my job sometimes to explain, but on the other hand it’s tiresome to be forthcoming and still have people fail to grasp what you’re telling them. I wish I could just capslock at everyone YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. It does get better with time though. I mean once you’re open about your anxiety and people have had time to process, they can be incredibly supportive.