Nerds are most commonly thought of as socially awkward or have anxiety. Most people don’t know that Anxiety is the most common illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million people. (about 18% of the U.S. Population) There are a variety of different forms of anxiety. So, nerd or not you might be suffering from this illness but what exactly is social anxiety?
It’s different for everyone, but we commonly hate to be judged, in the spot light, and constantly worry what others opinions are of ourselves. We also know that our fears are irriational and extreme but can’t stop feeling that way. Do you constantly worry about any of these things?
- Public speaking
- Being introduced to other people
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched or observed while doing something
- Having to say something in a formal, public situation
- Meeting people in authority (“important people/authority figures”)
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations (“I don’t know what to say.”)
- Embarrassing easily (e.g., blushing, shaking)
- Meeting other peoples’ eyes
- Swallowing, writing, talking, making phone calls if in public
- Eating in front of others.
15 million people are afraid of some or all of these things. Sadly, only 1/3 people get treatment for this disorder. You can treat this by going to a therapist, they will help work through the problems. Most will probably give out medication, but one of the best treatments for Social Anxiety is Cognitive behavioral therapy. (CBT) Sounds like some creepy mad-scientist experiment, huh? Nope! It’s just teaching yourself skills that you don’t have, social ones. To re-program your brain with positive, constructive thoughts and facing your fears. Yep. Facing them!
If you were like me a year ago, you would think that is impossible. Your fears consume you, take control and make you feel powerless. That you can’t face them. That you can’t perform on stage. That you can’t be comfortable talking to people. What CBT does is teach you that you can.
You can’t afford therapy? Me either! I was in a cycle of negative thinking, can’t work so I can’t get help. I’ve sat inside for 21 years wishing to not be afraid. To not be ashamed. To be confident. Then I realized if I want to change myself, I will have to do it on my own. So if you are that 2/3 then let’s battle our fears together. To train our brains to be positive, confident indivuals that aren’t afraid of people judging us. You want to get over your anxiety, get help, want help and put in the effort.
Every day is a battle, but if I can do it, you can do it. You are not alone, many people feel the same way and you can learn to over come it. It will take constant work, good support, and patience.
I will post blogs of how I’m learning to over come it, but it’s always best to seek a professional. I’m just an average girl tired of being afraid, that wants to help others as I help myself.
WebMD for more info:WebMD
Facts & Statistics about Anxiety:Facts
Follow on twitter for daily support:Twitter Profile