Living With Social Anxiety

Living With Social Anxiety

Cora Longoria , Contributing Writer

Social anxiety: it can get the better of us.

 

It’s been a typical day. Dealing with the same annoying people at school, an overwhelming amount of homework assignments and papers, and dealing with the average but detrimental feelings of not being good enough. Luckily, the bell had rung and you were on your way home. Upon reaching your home, you drag your feet up the porch steps, trudge through the front door without bothering to take off your shoes, sling your backpack onto your bedroom floor and flop onto your bed. You pull your phone from your jacket pocket, your earbuds still plugged in, and immediately click on the Snapchat app.

You click through story after story, seeing all of the “wonderful” things that people posted throughout the school day. Most of the stories just composed of girls sticking out their tongues, thinking that they’re the coolest girls on the planet. You scoff mentally, laughing at the fact that they look absolutely ridiculous. Other stories are composed of selfies with no context, people annoyed by the assignments, teachers, policies, and all of the other jazz that ticks the average teenager off. Nothing special. But you think…

Why don’t I have friends like that?

Throughout the rest of the day, you see nothing but “friends” posting about their friends and how wonderful they are and how much they love them. And then…

There’s just you.

You have no friends that show you off or tell you how they love you. You have no friends that text you first or try their hardest to make plans with you. You’re only there for their convenience. You’re only there when they need something.

You turn off and lock your phone and throw it to the side, leaving you in complete darkness and silence.

Why don’t I have friends like that?

 

The “you” above, is me.

I think I have social anxiety.

So I talked to Mr. White.

The first thing he said to me was, “the worst thing you can do is keep to yourself, and be on your phone all day.”

Oh god, that’s me.

For those who don’t know what social anxiety is, social anxiety is a disorder that people have where social interactions cause or trigger irrational anxiety. When struck with this kind of anxiety, it’s not something that just shakes someone up and then is gone the next second. It’s more than that. It holds a person captive. Sometimes, this captivity is followed by ragged breathing, and sometimes, it’s followed by shaking and crying. It’s different for every person. On top of that, some people struggle with SAD [Social Anxiety Disorder] worse than others.

SAD can really impact a person’s life.

If you still can’t seem to wrap your head around the idea of social anxiety and what it is like, think about this statement from Mr. White:

“With social anxiety, it’s kind of like you’re putting yourself out of the running when it comes to wanting to achieve your personal goals and such.”

When conversing with Mr. White about the impacts on oneself about social anxiety, we talked about how social media can be a leading cause of this disorder.

Mr. White said, “A lot of this has to do with social media, ya know. You see all of these people posting their happiest moments and you just sit there and compare yourself and your life to theirs and it just brings you down more. You think, ‘why can’t I be like that?’ and then you compare until you don’t find joy in anything.”

Wouldn’t you agree?

Isn’t social media the cause of a lot of things these days?

Former president Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Before I end this, I would like to leave you, the reader, with one more statement provided by Mr. White:

“In any situation where you feel fear, you kind of have to force yourself to just deal with it. Even if you fail, hopefully you’ll gain confidence in the long run.”