But, first: A game of “Would You Rather”…
Would you rather…
If eating those tacks is actually looking pretty appealing in comparison, you could have Social Anxiety Disorder, the third most common mental health condition in the United States.
Social Anxiety Disorder is more than just episodic shyness. It’s normal to feel butterflies dancing in your stomach immediately before speaking in public, or when you’re nervous about tanking a first date. But when social anxiety becomes immobilizing—you’d rather accept a failing grade than present a project in lecture OR your fear of humiliation causes you to cancel that date prematurely—then, Social Anxiety Disorder could be the culprit.
Social Anxiety Disorder encompasses a cluster of symptoms that are both behavioral (e.g. avoidance of stressful situations) and physiological (e.g. clammy palms or an upset stomach). These symptoms may include
Social Anxiety Disorder is an American epidemic. A confluence of risk factors—rather than a single, discrete cause—often contributes to the development of this condition. These risk factors often include:
According to a recent survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (or ADAA), 36% of individuals who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder will endure symptoms for over 10 years before seeking professional assistance!
We get it.
If you have Social Anxiety Disorder, what could seem worse than talking about your problems with a virtual stranger? However, once you make that initial leap, the hardest hurdle is behind you! Counseling for Social Anxiety Disorder can not only help you not only forge lasting and meaningful relationships, but can also help you maximize your potential in the academic and professional realms.
To address your condition, your therapist may recommend
Picture this, I am visiting the home of one of my closest friends, in a suburban neighborhood in West Michigan. I am a black, African immigrant.