The main purpose of this platform is to let people know they're not alone. Whether you want to YAC AT US about it or use solutions and resources from here or other platforms we support you 100%. We do want to get you started though and share some of the tools we use as well as other resources available.
If you read my blog about How Social Anxiety Disorder Affects Me, you'd know it is something I still struggle with almost daily. In saying that, there are tools I've picked up and resources I use to help lessen the pain and panic. Although I don't see her currently, I used to go to counseling once a week for a few months. It was incredibly helpful and I would recommend it to everyone- seriously EVERYONE. Knowing there's someone to talk to about the things you are going through who can help you come up with solutions to your struggles is extremely encouraging and the thought of just having someone there already puts me a little more at ease.
One of the main things I find about anxiety orders, in general, is they cause you to overthink which in turn causes you to panic. If I'm going to an event or public place I often try to have something else to do while I'm there to keep me occupied from the overwhelming panic that usually ensues. I know I probably shouldn't be advocating for more screen time, but if using your phone helps to distract you- DO IT. If scrolling through pictures of adorable puppies occupies your brain for a bit- DO IT. I'm not saying you need to be buried in your phone the entire time, but it's a way to ease yourself in. It's a conscious effort to be focusing on something else, but it can become second nature as you practice. One thing we really focused on when I went to counseling was being mindful, similar to being present. Try not to let yourself get overstimulated by the whole situation. If you're at a coffee shop, focus on drinking your beverage. What does it taste like? What does the weight of the cup feel like? How does it make you feel? Take the extra time to slow everything down for yourself.
Although the whole "picture everyone in their underwear" thing is a little outdated... It has some merit to it. We don't have to be weird about it, but try to understand how the majority of everyone else is probably in the same boat you are. A little stressed, a little nervous (or maybe a lot), but most of all the last thing on their mind is you. No offense, but think about it! How often are you thinking about judging someone else when you go out in public? Almost never. You're focused on your panicked self and if other people are judging you. Just think ... if the majority of others are doing the same ... judging you is the furthest thing from their mind! So maybe don't picture them in their underwear - but know there are other people out there struggling with the same things.
Sometimes we need a little love and encouragement by our side to get through things if the opportunity allows try inviting a friend, family member, or significant other with you. And be honest with them. That way they'll be able to try and understand what you're going through and maybe help you more than you thought they could!
At the end of the day, we're all different, and we're all going to require different things to let us cope. Allow yourself to explore ways of tackling your anxiety, try new things, who knows maybe you'll discover a brand new way of dealing with it all!
As you read here I'm glad Rebecca was able to outsource and communicate her ways of coping with social anxiety. As a couple, we support each other in many ways to fight our anxieties. On my own, I'm much different but very much the same!
My daily struggle with anxiety has taken a toll on my life in many ways. From job searching to approaching places I haven't been. I struggle with first interactions, first impressions, and first actions.
First and foremost I feel everyone should have someone to talk to no matter how big or small your problem is. Whether this be a guided counselor, your spouse or family, or a simple peer over the internet (YAC at us!).
I personally have very few current ways to express the way I feel when it comes to my illness but I'm speaking out loud now! This blog and platform is now the source of my action to self-heal and seek the right resources.
If you have someone close to you, you may want to talk and express everything to them which is great, just remember they may not always be able to understand exactly how you feel. This is where the professionals should be your next step! This is why I've promised myself I will seek a counselor to simply talk and express how I'm feeling over this journey we've stepped into.
One more note to add as I AM NOT a Medical professional in the mental health space or any medical space. This is simply my point of view on mental illness and how it affects me, and as we like to give advice and resources about mental health, our goal in mind is to collectively spread awareness of these illnesses that tackle our society today!
Again thank you for your time and effort in reading this movement, Your support in comments or just your valuable time that you've spent here today means so much to us at you are collective.
Never be afriad to speak out loud! and make sure you YAC about it!
We've read through a few articles we think are helpful in finding ways to cope with Social Anxiety Disorder:
AnxietyBC Visit www.anxietybc.com or call 604- 525-7566 for self-help information and community resources.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for info sheets and personal stories about social anxiety disorder. You’ll also find more information, tips, and self-tests to help you understand many different mental health problems.
Your Local Crisis Line Crisis lines aren’t only for people in crisis. You can call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to. If you are in distress, call 310-6789 (do not add 604, 778 or 250 before the number) 24 hours a day to connect to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. The crisis lines linked in through 310-6789 have received advanced training in mental health issues and services by members of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.
HealthLink BC Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about or a pharmacist about medication questions.
Leahy PHD, R. (2018). How to Overcome Your Social Anxiety. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/anxiety-files/201410/how-overcome-your-social-anxiety [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].
Cuncic, A. (2018). Things to Start Doing If You Have Social Anxiety Disorder. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/social-anxiety-disorder-tips-3024209 [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].
Tartakovsky M.D., M. (2018). 6 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety. [online] Psych Central. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/6-ways-to-overcome-social-anxiety/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].
Heretohelp.bc.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/sites/default/files/social-anxiety-disorder.pdf [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and are not able to provide licensed medical advice. This is a platform to relay information and share about mental illness.