Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia By: Jenny

Have you ever had a sweat break before a performance or a recitation? Have you ever tried to escape something from somewhere because you were really scared or afraid? Hello! My name is Jenny and today I’m here to talk about my experience of always being nervous and wary of everything.

Anxiety disorder is a chronic condition characterised by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension, with physical symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and feelings of stress. This disorder is characterised by feelings of anxiety and fear, whereas anxiety is a worry about future events, and fear is a reaction to current events. Basically, it means that in crucial times and when before doing such an activity that makes you nervous, you have a panic attack and suddenly feel like the entire world is against you, and you feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

Social phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, is a type of an anxiety disorder characterised by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday society. People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others, and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions in front of a large crowd. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, or other activities. While many people with social phobia recognise that their fear of being around people may be excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome it. They often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation. In addition, they often experience low self-esteem and depression.

I chose these issues because I’ve always read books with twists and turning points; and one day, I came across one about where the main character had anxiety disorder and also social phobia. I also got attracted to these topics even more because one of my favourite youtubers, Bethany Mota, used to have anxiety disorder and social phobia before the internet (or more specifically youtube) helped her overcome her limitations. My connections are because it sometimes happens to me or probably has happened to everyone in one point of our lives.

Here are some examples that show Anxiety disorder and Social Phobia in everyday life:

– When you are about to go on stage, you suddenly panic and think about how the people in large crowds will think about you or how they might humiliate you if you make any serious mistake;
– When you have to deliver speech like this in front of a class and then you feel the pressure of not getting the words wrong and of engaging properly with body language;
– When you get sent out of class and you come back in, it really is frightening. Everybody is staring at you and you feel this ticklish burn at the back of your throat and you are afraid of your own shadow.

This issue is relevant to me because it gave me reference as I dug deeper into it and also gave me tips/know-hows on what to do when a situation like that occurs. This issue is important because of a fact I read that made me really sad. About 3.7% of the U.S. population or approximately 11.8 million Americans are affected by anxiety disorder and social phobia per year. This is important because if we use the same percentage in the number of people in the world, it means that there are 273.8 million people who are affected by this disorder (sorry for using complicated math). This issue affects teenagers because these days, we get stressed because of various reasons such as:

– Getting high grades,
– Social life,
– Meeting expectations,
– Fitting in with everyone else, and
– Being different or unique.

While researching this idea, I learned that the most important thing to do to overcome your phobia and disorder is to understand and learn about it first. Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. (Having a phobia doesn’t mean you’re crazy!) It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. You can overcome your anxiety and fear, no matter how out of control it feels at the moment. A tip from me to you is to never give up. Once you give up, it will just crawl back to you in time and make it worse. Giving up isn’t an answer but having fun when you indulge in an activity can help you feel happy and adjusted.

My thinking about this issue is that worrying about it can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But when you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

My thinking has changed because when I had those moments, I was unready and very unstable about what I had to do which was worse because it was like another panic attack inside the panic attack that was causing it. Nowadays, I still have those moments sometimes but it has become more helpful throughout because I took time to understand what I was actually feeling. It is the best to prevent the attacks beforehand, however, if that isn’t possible, the most important thing to do is think positive thoughts and say “I know i’m not the only one feeling like this and there will be others that have the same problem; and we will help each other to fight this because we are stronger than this.” This influences my learning in Wellness because it helps me think more deeply about topics that are similar and already gives me insight and background knowledge about similar topics.

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