Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Day in My Life

"Social anxiety disorder: SAD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear in social situations causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. It is a rather extreme form of social phobia. The diagnosis of social anxiety disorder can be of aspecific disorder (when only some particular situations are feared) or a generalized disorder. Generalized social anxiety disorder typically involves a persistent, intense, chronic fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by one's own actions."

Every day for me, is like walking a gauntlet. Every look, glance, every word from another person is like being punched, kicked and beaten. Every breath is a gasp of pain and a prayer for life.

If you don't have SAD, you can NOT possibly imagine what it feels like, what is does to you, how it is to live in constant, never ending fear. It's 24/7, it doesn't just 'go away'.

"In social anxiety disorder, everyday interactions cause extreme fear and self-consciousness. It may become impossible for you to eat with acquaintances or write a check in public, let alone go to a party with lots of strangers."

"Social anxiety disorder can have emotional, behavioral and physical signs and symptoms.
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
  • Intense fear of being in situations in which you don't know people
  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged
  • Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
  • Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
  • Anxiety that disrupts your daily routine, work, school or other activities
  • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
  • Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
Physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
  • Blushing
  • Profuse sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Difficulty talking
  • Shaky voice
  • Muscle tension
  • Confusion
  • Palpitations
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold, clammy hands
  • Difficulty making eye contact
You may also be affected by:
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble being assertive
  • Negative self-talk
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism
  • Poor social skills"
You see and read the words here and yet, there is no way for you to understand the depth of their meaning nor the impact that meaning has on a life, a relationship, an existence. I am neither ignorant, nor dumb. I am not shy nor silly nor "blonde". I am not an introvert, a people hater or anti-social. I do not dislike you nor wish not to be around you or part of your life! I AM AFRAID! 

Please, before you judge me or think you know me, look again, look deeper. Look into my heart. It's there, it's not hidden away, indeed, it's carried on my sleeve and shines from my eyes. It's there, hiding behind the tears.

~Mental Out