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Social Anxiety Disorder

16th Jul 2021

Social Anxiety is a condition that exists for many, yet for many of us, is one that is equally being ignored or dismissed. For someone who has, or is currently suffering from, the impact of bullying, it can all too often become a side effect that then causes further impact upon our emotional well-being.

Social Anxiety Disorder is a term that is becoming used more frequently as awareness grows, but without many understanding it, is something they may well suffer from themselves.

Social anxiety is ‘an overwhelming fear of social situations, like meeting or speaking to people.’ More than just ‘shyness’, it is a condition that can affect everyday life, relationships and our mental health.

Post lockdown, more and more of us have felt more empowered to say we are struggling with the re-emergence into society. Admitting, where we may not have previously, that we are finding it hard to let the world back in and make plans and socialise again. In the past many of us may well have been guilty of passing Social Anxiety off as ‘being anti-social’ or ‘an introvert’ but actually it is a condition that affects many of us, some of us without us even realising it is.

Does Social Anxiety affect you?

  • Do you feel worried about everyday interactions with others?
  • Do you either worry about, or avoid entirely social activities with others, such as group drinks, parties etc?
  • Do you worry a lot about embarrassing yourself?
  • Do you fear being criticised by others?
  • Do you have physical symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, light headedness, or heart palpitations when thinking of social gatherings or going out?
  • Do you have panic attacks either at the thought of leaving the house, or when you do leave the house?

If you have answered yes to these then you may be experiencing social anxiety.

What can you do if you are experiencing it?

  • Focus on the present. Think about what is within your sphere of influence and work on what you can and cannot change within that.
  • Journaling can help us to understand if there is a certain trigger that exacerbates the condition. It can also help us to process our feelings.
  • Try some relaxation or mindfulness techniques. Yoga, deep breathing exercises and meditation can often help to calm the mind.
  • Seek support from your GP or Social Anxiety UK if the symptoms are affecting your quality of life.
  • Our e-mentors are always here to help if we can. Contact them here.

Most importantly, make sure you reach out to someone for support. The world really is an easier place to navigate when we feel supported. That support can be confidential, anonymous, and even online if required. The main thing is to access it if you feel overwhelmed or anxious.

 

Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer

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If you are being bullied or are concerned about someone who is, you can receive help and support from one of our trained Mentors through our e-mentoring service.

If you would like a Mentor to email you, please contact: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

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