Thursday, 1 August 2019

Why People With Social Anxiety Disorder Cancel Plans

Our friends and family always get annoyed with us because we often tend to cancel plans and turn down invitations to go to family gatherings or  social events or we just don't show up. Now for the average person that might seem like you're being a bit of an asshole or that you just don't care but they don't actually understand why the person is doing that. 

How can assusre you that it's not because they don't want to go and it's not because they don't want to spend time with those you. It's also not because they're just playing being an asshole or that they are being lazy. 

When I was younger I could control my social anxiety because I was very much an outside person. I grew up in Durban, South Africa and it was very warm most of the year round so I was always outside and of course, you know, being in the sun all the time and getting vitamin D does wonders for social anxiety. I had friends. I made friends at school. I always had friends growing up. I still had social anxiety and believe me everytime I stood in a line at a grocery store I had panic attacks and I used to blush so much that I would get so embarrassed and almost walk out. 

But I didn't know about this thing called depression so I was very happy. I mean I did experience trauma but I got through it. I used to surf. I used to skateboard. I used to climb trees. I was always at the beach. I was always at the gym. I was hardly ever inside the house unless it was a rainy day or if it was very cold or something like that. When I got to my late teens after leaving school I was going out with my friends all the time. I was going out with my brother and his friends. We would all go out together. I was always out at my friend's house. I would sleep over there and they would come to mine. We would always have braais (BBQs) outside and spend  the day by the pool. We were always busy. But at this stage in my life and I would say for the last 10 years or so it's been really difficult for me to get back into that kind of space where I want to go out and I want to be with people and it's because I have depression and that makes my social anxiety a lot worse than what it is. 

Most people don't realise that people that have social anxiety disorder really struggle with going out and socializing because they have such a low self-esteem and there are so scared that they are going to be judged. A lot of people with social anxiety struggle to go out into the world and work and it's very hard for them. They're so scared to get judged by other people because they don't have the best job or they don't have a car or they don't have nice clothes. Even if they are working just think people are going to judge them for having a the job that they have. They tend to avoid going to family gatherings because it's difficult for them to concentrate when someone speaking to them and it's difficult to keep a conversation going. You struggle to focus on other people so you are always focusing on yourself.  So yes they will avoid going to parties and they will avoid going on dates. They will avoid going to family gatherings they will avoid going to office parties. It's because they feel like they are not good enough. And they feel like other people won't be accepting of them. They constantly feel judged.

I know that even when I'm around family I always have anxiety around because I sometimes feel like I've done nothing with my life and that they judge me for that. I'm 40 years old and my depression is very very bad. I feel like people think that I have not done enough to try and make my my life better. And even even if they don't think that about me I'm still going to think that because that's what my anxiety is telling me. 

I just wish people would be a bit more understanding as to why people with social anxiety struggle to go to family gatherings or to go out to bars and clubs altogether. You need to be compassionate. You can't just push them into the deep end and expect them to swim. Believe me when I tell you that the tough love approach does not work. It does not work with depression. It does not work with social anxiety disorder. It does not work with generalized anxiety disorder. It does not work with any other mental health disorder.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Offline


So, I went without social media for a full seven days. I mean, completely. I deleted Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit from my phone and did not look at any of them the whole seven days. The reason I decided to do this was because my depression took a serious nose dive and I was in the worst black hole abyss piece of shit hellhole I have ever been in. The absolute rock bottom. At my absolute worst.I started experiencing a lot of paranoia surrounding my depression and friends and family not being as supportive as I feel they should be. This is your irrational mind thinking. This is what dominates you when you have depression and anxiety combined. This is how you think, feel and react. You see, it kinda feels like the world just stops and you're in animated suspension while everyone else is carrying on with life and the world keeps spinning for them. You don't know how to get back into alignment with everyone else. Nothing feels right. Everything feels backwards, like you're in another dimension. And what better way to realign yourself than to detox from social media. Most people would think that it wouldn't make much of a difference until they actually did it. And I was one of those people. I am certainly going to own up to being wrong.
Social media does have a negative affect on your recovery from depression. Most people are in denial about this. They think that it helps them to communicate with others. However, the more time you spend on social media, the less time you spend focusing on yourself and your recovery. You remain distracted. Days go by. Months. Years. What changes? Nothing. You become obsessed with checking your phone every other minute.
You play Candy Crush for hours. You neglect yourself. You neglect your life. You neglect your recovery. Recovery takes action. Action takes time. If you have no time. You can't recover. Having online friendships is great. But, when you stop doing things in real life because you would rather  have a life online that's when things become blurred. Reality takes a back seat and you slip deeper into the abyss of depression. Being off social media for seven days has led me to become more in sync with my true self. I started to have a clearer mind and to think more rationally. I started to feel like there was hope. A future. I started cleaning my house more. I de-cluttered and made sure I feel comfortable in my own home.You might think that now that my seven day social media cleanse is over that things will go back to normal. Well, not quite. I am still keeping social media off my phone and I will only go on when I am on my PC. And I can't be on my PC all day. That is not the last of it though. I want to take things further and do a 14 day social media cleanse. I hope you learn something from this and realise that you can take some time away from it all in order to heal yourself.







Thursday, 6 June 2019

Growing Up In South Africa


Growing Up In South Africa

As you may have guessed from the title I grew up in South Africa. I moved to the UK at the end of 2014 on my own to try and make a better life for myself and to get away from all the my demons of the past. I was also grieving the loss of my mother and felt totally isolated. One day I took my british passport out and told myself that I would get to the UK somehow and the rest is history. 

I was born in Rosettenville which is also known as Jo'burg South. We lived on a house on the corner of a street who's name I can't remember. We had a big park across the road from us, which was wonderful for us kids. We used to love playing outside, especially in the Summer time. In those days it was safe to do so. We also had one of those backyard plastic pools similar to the one in the picture below.
We had a maid who lived in the outside room and she took care of us kids when my parents weren't at home. She was fantastic. As far as I remember she was also a Sangoma, which is another name for a witch doctor, healer/herbalist. I was never scared of her though. She would protect us with her life. But one thing that bothered me was that one the odd occasion she would cook sheeps head outside of her room. We could smell it walking home from school sometimes. That smell is enough to put anyone off. Not my favourite memory but moving on. 


I remember when we used to go and play in the park on weekends and holidays. There was a huge willow tree right infront of our house. My dad used to make swings for us out of the vines. This was  a very long time before iPhones and Playstations. I was very much an outdoors kid growing up even after I had discovered Nintendo. I was about 8 or so when we moved to Port Shepstone. Port Shepstone is a town situated on the mouth of the Mzimkhulu River, the largest river on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast of South Africa. The Mzimkulu River means 'large place' in isiXhosa and isiZulu. It is located halfway between Hibberdene and Margate and is located 120 km south of Durban. We lived in a huge house not far from the beach. We had a big front yard and an even bigger back yard. But, we had to be so careful in the summer because there were loads of snakes about. We found a green mamba in our back yard once. I loved this place. I made a best friend in school, despite me having an anxiety disorder. We were very close and we were always together. At the age of ten my dad got a better job so we moved to a town called Amanzimtoti. A lovely holiday destination South of Durban. We moved into a cute little three bedroom house with a granny flat, back yard, front yard, fantastic neighborhood. 

There was a lot of bush and greenery, which was great for us kids. During the school holidays we would keep ourselves busy by exploring and hiking or as us Saffa's like to call it, bundu bashing. We would pack lunches and water into backpacks and head out for the day. My parents knew we were safe if we were together. It was so much fun to do. At the end of the day we would get home starving and exhausted. I walked to school and back, infact, I walked everywhere. I started skateboarding and surfing later on at about the age of 13. Life was so good!

We would braai (bbq) on weekends. The weather was always warm, even the winters were nothing to write home about. My parents had loads of work friends they would invite over for braais. It was so much fun because we would swim and enjoy our time outside as much as we could. I don't think I can remember any day that was sunny where we didn't have a braai. My dad also built a bar in the house which was lovely for the adults. We did have rainy seasons and the odd few really cold days but overall it was usually quite summery and hot. My dad bought a beach buggy and we would go to the beach almost every weekend and ride up and down the sand dunes. The adults would sometimes do a bit of fishing on the side. In those days we were allowed to have beach bonfires and it was still quite safe. So, sometimes we would go in the late afternoon after a braai and start a bonfire on the beach and braai marshmellows. I guess it kinda feels like camping. Gosh do I miss all of that!












Friday, 31 May 2019

Magnesium For Depression


Magnesium For Depression

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Studies show that magnesium deficiency can put you at risk of depression and that people who suffer from depression are found to be magnesium deficient. People who have depression almost always have symptoms of extreme fatigue and constant brain fog. The reason you might have chronic fatigue and brain fog with depression is because you have a magnesium deficiency. Brain fog can cause you to feel confused, unable to focus, unable to think clearly and you might even experience memory problems. The reason you might have chronic fatigue and brain fog with depression is because you have a magnesium deficiency. And since magnesium is essential in maintaining optimal brain and cognitive function, having too little of it can cause these exact symptoms.

We get most of our magnesium from plants, seeds and nuts and is depleted by stress and mental health issures. Sometimes we do need to take a supplement to get the right amounts of magnesium in order to funcion properly. I call this magnesium therapy. I'm not sure if that's what it's actually called, but I kind of like to make up my own little phrases lol. Some people might think that this is a load of bull because "how can taking this simple mineral get rid of depression" and "if that were true then why wouldn't doctors either tell you to take it or prescribe it to you". Well, the simple short answer is that they push medications on us because that is what they are required to do by the pharmaceutical companies. Most people with depression don't really need anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. All they need is to take the right natural supplements, minerals and other wonderful miracle cures such as CBD oil which I have discussed in my previous blog post HERE

How Does Magnesium Help You?

  • Balances blood sugar
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Relaxes skeletal muscle
  • Cleans the bowel 
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Relieves constipation
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Increases energy
  • Strengthens bones
  • Reduces migrains
  • Improves focus
  • Reduces eczema
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Improves memory
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Reduces brain fog

How Long Does Magnesium Take To Work?

Research has shown that depression improves significantly in as little as two weeks when taking magnesium every day. It is always recommended to give it between 6 to 8 weeks to notice the full effects of this wonderful mineral. 






Thursday, 30 May 2019

CBD Oil For Anxiety


CBD Oil For Anxiety

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a compound found in cannabis known as a cannabinoid. CBD oil is simply an oil that contains the cannabinoid CBD. The CBD is extracted from a cannabis plant (usually hemp, which is cannabis with very low levels of THC). It is then combined with a carrier oil. This carrier oil helps to efficiently deliver the CBD to your bloodstream.


There is a lot of buzz about the amazing effects of CBD oil on the human body. People are taking this wonderful oil for all kinds of ailments. According to Wikipedia: Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.



I have lifelong social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I also currently struggle with c-ptsd and depression. I have tried numerous anti-depressant medications. None of which helped me in the least. All they did was cause my insomnia and depession to magnify nevermind the plethora of other unwanted side effects that I am still dealing with months after quitting the medication. I am managing to keep my head above the water by doing EFT tapping (eft stands for emotional freedom tecnique), walking long distances most days, meditation and listening to subliminals. But I just need a little more motivation and drive, something that will cause my anxiety to calm down enough for me to think clearly without having all the nasty side effects. 

You see, two of the major symptoms of depression and c-ptsd are brain fog and fatigue. If you have ever wondered why anyone with depression cannot get out of bed, this is why. This is something I always struggle to get people to understand. But alas, I do and have been trying to combat this over the last few months. I have gone from sleeping all day to getting out of bed at whatever time, having a shower, brushing teeth, eating something, and trying to do a bit of cleaning and something productive. Some days I really cannot do anything purely because I just don't have the energy to do so but i do still get out of bed and do the basics. That is a huge accomplishment for someone with depression who isn't getting any help or hasn't much of a support system. 
👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈👈

What Can CBD Oil Be Used For?


  • Pain relief
  • Improve insomnia
  • Stress relief
  • Reduces nausia and vomiting
  • Combats tumor and cancer cells
  • Combats anxiety and depression disorders
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces seizure activity
  • Combats neurodegenerative disorders
  • Combats Social anxiety
  • Treats psoriasis
  • Kills or slows bacteria growth
  • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Treats psychosis (anti-psychotic)
  • Supresses muscle spasms
  • Reduces withdrawel symptoms
  • Promotes healthy skin

How To Take CBD Oil?

The oil comes with a dropper for accurate dosage. Some people when they buy CBD oil don't really know the dosage and how much to take and they just put the dropper in their mouth and squeeze until it's empty or just large amounts. They then have adverse effects because they have taken too much on the first few tries.  Looking in the mirror when you apply CBD oil will make sure you give yourself the correct dose because you can see what you are doing. When the instructions say drops, they mean tiny small drops. Most of the time you won't even need to squeeze the dropper. The liquid should drop naturally. So, my recommendation is to start with two small drops under the tongue three times a day. You can stick with that dose if you are on 1000mg - 1500mg. If you are on 300mg - 800mg you can increase the dosage daily until you find the right dosage that works for you. Once the oil is under your tongue, let it sit there for 30 - 60 seconds then swallow. This allows the CBD to enter your bloodstream quicker. 

Will CBD Make Me High?

No, CBD oil will not make you high. I know that many people who have anxiety disorders are reluctant to try CBD oil because they are scared they will get high. The THC levels in CBD oil are minute traces and are not enough to make you high or experience any of the weird side effects you would get if you smoked cannabis.  If a CBD oil does contain THC, it will be less than 0.3%, as stated by law.  
The beautiful plant!



I decided that since there is so much hype about this wonderful herb and it's medicinal properties I might as well try it, afterall, I have nothing to lose. I did my research and went with the UK's largest and most popular CBD manufacturer. There CBD is certified full spectrum CBD oil. I ordered the highest dose that they had which is the 1200mg. Unfortunately it only comes in a 10ml bottle but according to their site if I take 6-9 drops per day it can last a month. The day before my CBD oil arrived I had a horrible full blown panic attack which lasted about two hours. This is a very long time to experience this amount of internal terror. It was extremely terrifying because at first I didn't know it was a panic attack you see, because I have not had one in over 9 years! The next day when my oil arrived I immediately took two drops under the tongue. Not even a minute later and I felt an overall sense of calm and I was able to feel very relaxed without feeling tired if that makes sense. My intrusive anxious thoughts dissipated, I wasn't obsessingly worrying about silly little things and I was able to think clearly. I might be blowing my own horn here but OMG!!!! I honestly did not think that I would notice a difference on the very first day of taking this wonderful oil. But I did and honestly I am so happy to have bought it. So YES, CBD most certainly does work in reducing anxiety and it's symptoms. I think it will take a couple of weeks before my social anxiety and depression feel alot better but I am confident that this is going to happen. Patience is key when you are waiting for any kind of treatment to work. My generalized anxiety is giving me a big fuck you because this miracle oil has showed it the door. And if that can happen then the rest is soon to follow. I do sometimes see people saying that after a few days they are still struggling. Social anxiety disorder and depression are very deep rooted so you need to give this lovely oil time to work its magic. You should start to notice a difference within two weeks and even if they are small, just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and don't give up! 


Please Visit My YouTube Channel HERE













Friday, 12 April 2019

7 Years In The Making





I have struggled with social anxiety disorder my whole life. This has been the catalyst in my current situation. My current situation being complex ptsd, agoraphobia, sleep anxiety which is causing severe insomnia and clinical depression. I have been through a series of bad situations and stressful traumatic events which I think I could have handled better had I not had social anxiety disorder. These all happened over the time frame of the last seven years. I will explain all of this in more detail so that you can understand what has lead me to be where I am today.

My mom was first diagnosed with COPD (emphysema) and about a year later (give or take a month or two) she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her COPD would have been very managable and she would very well have still been alive had she not been diagnosed with RA. She passed away in August 2013 because her lungs just stopped working. Most people get confused and tell me it's from the COPD, however, it was not the case. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that not only attacks the joints but the internal organs too. It causes widespread inflammation which can develop in other parts of the body such as the lungs. This caused her COPD to progress aggressively. She started to experience rapid weight loss, which could not be remedied with adding more protein to her diet or eating more carbs or sugars. She was in and out of hospitals with pneumonia. They kept having to put her on a drip because her blood pressure was dangerously low. I had eventually left the job that I had at the time to stay at home and take care of her. I had no help from any other family members or friends of the family. I knew that not working would cause a world of problems but I could not leave my mom to fend for herself being in the condition that she was in. My mom was getting a disability pension as she was unable to work so at least it was something. We had no car and it was difficult to find lifts to the hospital and back especially in an emergency, and in South Africa it's not like in the UK where you can go stand across the road and take the bus. By this stage it started to take a toll on my mental health. I was so stressed and could barely handle all of this. Struggling and begging people for lifts. We were eventually kicked out because we were unable to keep up with our rent payments so we had to borrow a couch here and there and sleep in the car most of the time. Being homeless added to the stress I was already feeling. My poor mom. I got in contact with people who had known both of my parents when they were still married and they helped raise funds to pay for a deposit for a place to stay and for some groceries for the first month. I decided that I had to get another job in order to keep staying in the new place otherwise we would be out on the street again.  I got an office job and was doing everything I could to get to work and back since I had no car or money for a taxi. So, basically I would either walk or hitch hike. On August 23rd 2013 I got a phonecall from the hospital asking me to please come to the hospital and that it was not good. I kept begging people on my facebook if someone could please give me a lift. No one even replied to my pleas for help. I got another phonecall to tell me she has passed away. I was unable to see her one last time. I was unable to say goodbye.  I left my job because I couldn't handle what I was going through at the time. I went back two months later because my rent was overdue by two months so I had to make some money, it was also to keep myself busy so that I could recover from all of this. I decided to get help and go see my doctor who referred me to a government hospital to see both a psychologist and psychiatrist. I went to see them once a month for the next three months and it was helping me alot. My psychologist was teaching me social skills and cognitive behavioural therapy. But, things at home were not so good. Because of those two months that I had missed work  I was still behind on my rent and even more so now because some months I had to use some of my rent money to buy food and toiletries (my salary was only able to afford one or the other and not both). My landlord at the time started to threaten me and even tried his luck with me telling me to become his whore in order to pay my rent. All of this became unbearable for me and too stressful. Ofcourse, I said no, just incase you are wondering. He told me I had a few days to pack and move and with nowhere to go I was in a bind. On the last day that I had left a friends mum came to see me to see how she could help. She knew I had a british passport and asked me if I had the option to go to the UK to make a better life, would I do it. I said yes I wish I could. I was on a plane the very next day, bless her. She had organised me a place to stay with a friend of hers for the first couple months while I job search and sort myself out. I got a job at a local Subway withing two weeks which was great and I was very excited because I would be earning pounds and this is a fresh new start.


It went really great for a while, I had rented a room in someones house (it was the norm for starting out here), another South African lady. I had the house to my self every second week which was great. But then, my boss started making me work more hours with less breaks and I was slaving away on my feet for ten hours a day six days a week. I started going to the gym as a way to destress because I could feel I wanted to quit as it was all becoming too much. I was made to work opening shifts all six days, so was on my own in the mornings pretty much until my boss decided to show up which on most days was after ten (I started at 7). It was always very busy in the mornings and was quite stressful on my social anxiety. Asking for help didn't work. Asking for less hours didn't work. ASking for someone else to open the shop a couple days of the week didn't work. Eventually it got to a stage where I had to work lunch shifts on my own, and before you say it couldn't have been that bad, it was bad. Lunch time was our busiest time of day and I had to serve a line of people going out the door for more than an hour, sometimes longer. You can imagine how stressed I was by the end of the day, even after working out. After working there for two and a half years I hit burnout and couldn't do it anymore. I was starting to lose it at the customers and I just quit. I know that it was a stupid thing to do because I should have stayed until I found another job but when you are in that kind of position and burnt out to the max, legs so sore, feet so sore, mentally and physically exhausted, so much so that you are crying every day then it's time to quit in my books. Ofcourse, I did not think of the consequenses at the time because I had a little money saved and thought I would be okay for a while.

 I ended up isolating myself and unable to find another job because I am so scared to go to interviews because I always hit a blank and never know what to say. I had to apply for universal credit and housing benefit. But, my landlady started spending more time at home because she and her boyfriend were having difficulties and she started getting annoyed with me being at home all the time and she started to lash out at me. Keep in mind that my rent was still being paid so it wasn't like I was living there rent free or eating her food because I was still paying my own way. She started to do things like slamming doors really loudly and having two hour baths. If I needed the loo I had to wait. She stopped allowing her cat to visit me and got very possesive over him so if he was in my room she would get angry and would stand outside my door calling him for as long as it took for him to go to her. She became very nasty. By this stage I had already started feeling the depression grab a hold of me. I decided to sit down with her and tell her what I was feeling and what was going on with me so that maybe she could give me a break and stop being so nasty. I felt like it was a good thing but that just made things worse for me and she then started to tell me that everybody gets depressed sometimes and that I must just get on with things and get over it and that I am just making excuses to be lazy. I just thought what does it matter if I'm paying my rent and buying my own food and toiletries? But anyway, she eventually told me to move out because she couldnt handle me not working and always being at home.

I was able to get a small studio flat with a housing association within the two weeks I had to move out (I was very lucky). When I moved my doctor had started me on antidepressants (citalopram) and I started to feel that I would be okay because I was in my own place and I would have the freedom to do what I wanted. The medication gave me such horrible side effects aside from the initial first two week side effects. I started to get really bad insomnia, and I mean severe. I could not sleep at might no matter how hard I tried of what I tried. And that meant that I would sleep during the day. I would also get night terrors and terrible vivid dreams. This only made my depression so much worse. I was unable to find a job because of this and it went on for months. I stopped taking my medication but guess what? I still have those side effects, they haven't left me even after being off the medication for about three months now. My depression has got so severe that I have thought about suicide a few times. My social anxiety is no longer just social anxiety, its agoraphobia too.

I am still on universal credit and housing benefit but the money barely covers what I need and sometimes I have to use some of my rent money to make sure I can eat and not run out of toiletpaper which I have had to do a few times already. The depression has changed my personality, and i'm sure it has changed my brain chemistry so drastically that I forgot who I am. I no longer enjoy doing all of the things I used to. I can barely function as a human nevermind have a personality. My social anxiety causes me to feel like I have no sense of self, now add depression and agoraphobia to the mixture. Alot of people do not understand why I am not working currently and why I am struggling so much with my mental health. It has all just been one big snowball effect. Unfortunately here in the UK I cannot see a proper psychologist unless I pay for one. And the only help available to me with the NHS is an eight week CBT course which I have already done and my case closed. I have, however, made a promise to myself that I will do everything I can in order to recover from depression because my social anxiety is managable if there is no depression. I have also come out to my brother and sister as well as my dad and step mom about my depression and anxiety so I feel like I have love and support which is enough to keep me going and to have a reason to want to fight this and get better.

I have already started to do things that are making a slight difference in my mood such as yoga, meditation and EFT tapping. Thanks to these three things I am able to leave the house and go for a jog or a walk in the park. I have a very long way to go and I am very hopefull that recovery is possible and that I will eventually not have depression anymore.

Please check out my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMlsamE8XBAkYB3GcmzIUHg

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

What The DSM-5 Doesn't Tell You About Social Anxiety Disorder


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) currently defines social anxiety disorder as follows:

The Current DSM-5  Definition:

  1. A persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.
  2. Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack.  
  3. The person recognizes that this fear is unreasonable or excessive.
  4. The feared situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety and distress.
  5. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
  6. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting 6 or more months.
  7. The fear or avoidance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs, medications) or a general medical condition not better accounted for by another mental disorder.
What They Don't Tell You:

  1. You have no sense of self. Quite simply, your sense of self is the identity you carry around all day every day – it is your sense of “this is me” and “this is not me.” The sense of self, also known as the ego, is an image we carry around in our minds about who we are. When we have a strong sense of self, we are able to differentiate ourselves from other people. It is the biological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual destiny of all human beings to create a strong sense of self. It feels like you have no personality or soul or that your body and soul are detached from each other. You don't know who you are or how to act around other people. You keep changing your mind about what you want to do with your life. It's almost like being constantly dissociated. People with no sense of self will often mimic other peoples personalities so that they can seem normal. They associate no sense of self with borderline personality disorder but in reality, it is more often seen in social anxiety disorder.
  2. You are likely to develop depression later on in life due to financial difficulties and loneliness. I know this all too well. I'm turning 40 this year and I am semi-agoraphobic because I am struggling with depression as well as social anxiety disorder. 
  3. You have difficulties forming relationships with other people and to maintain relationships. 
  4. You feel intimidated by everyone no matter how old or young they are. 
  5. You blush constantly when you're out in public and it's not something you can control.
  6. You have memory problems. Our memories can be affected when we are under periods of stress or experience some sort of disturbance in our mood. Having a significant anxiety disorder like SAD can create some of these problems routinely, leaving people operating below their normal level of memory functioning. 
  7. You struggle to maintain eye contact when speaking to people. You feel unable to look directly into other people's eyes when talking or feel like you are being judged or scrutinized when making eye contact.
  8. You can't concentrate for long periods when speaking to other people and tend to get distracted by your own thoughts.
  9. You are so nervous when you speak to strangers that you stutter or stumble your words.










    Why People With Social Anxiety Disorder Cancel Plans

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