Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Living With Social Anxiety

Although I do speak about my anxiety over on Twitter and I'm open about the fact that I have it on my blog - I simply haven't chosen to open up about it on here in the same way as I have done with my depression. I know it's strange, that out of the two mental illnesses that I've been diagnosed with this is the one that I struggle to speak about the most - but I find it hard to find the right words to accurately discuss how I'm feeling and so I apologise if this is a word vomit-esque post.

I was diagnosed with anxiety around a year and a half ago, but offered next to no help sans the idea that with time, this would improve. Earlier this year, this diagnosis was reaffirmed by a different doctor and I was put on Sertraline to tackle both this and my depression - however, it was only when I began to speak to Inclusion Matters that this was categorised as Social Anxiety. In hindsight; this should have been obvious - and it's likely that I also struggled with this throughout my teenage years which is why I had so much difficulty regarding attending school lessons and also going out with my friends to places or events that would be attended by a huge amount of people.

I struggle with this more than I'd like to admit - I go through phases where I can't force myself to leave the house even to visit the shops or head to Katy's house - and it's beyond frustrating. It's hard to comprehend why my head is setting me into a fully blown panic about going to Katy's house - where I spend a huge portion of my time and feel completely comfortable - or why I can't walk a route I have walked countless of hundreds of times within my lifetime. More frustrating is good days, which are only good to a limited amount, where I can leave the house but proceed to panic if I am forced to talk to shop assistants, or if I don't know where the toilet is, or if I have to ask somebody to correct a mistake no matter how small.

The most frustrating thing about my social anxiety is never knowing what might set it off, and thus dreading almost anything as a result. I read a post once that said living with anxiety is like the feeling you get when you think there's an extra step on your stairs when there isn't, but permanently - and I've never read anything more accurate. It's like living in a permanent limbo where I struggle to plan ahead - never knowing how I'm going to feel on the day, or whether I might panic if I do manage to make it out at all.

This isn't a post for sympathy - it's just one to get things off my chest, a little awareness post in the same way as I've done with my depression posts in the past. If you have any questions or tips for coping, drop them in my comments by all means.

Sammy xo.

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