NABATANDA GLORIA: A Story of Social Anxiety Disorder
Wondering if it’s real!!!!!!!!
Behind every person is a sad story. Mine may not be that sad but it was painful to me by then. I remember the days when I could not stand in front of a group of even three individual’s uuuhm!! It was a terrific moment in the life of a teenager who felt worthless, uncomfortable and hated herself .I could not say anything even when I had great ideas. When someone talks about it, I know what it feels
like to be in a situation that you don’t understand. It put me in the situation of admiring and envying other fellow teenagers who would express themselves easily. Social anxiety is real, most of us confuse it with shyness.
The turning point of my life was during a leadership training when the speaker of the day told me to stand up and say something because I had been quite the whole day. Oh my God! I know you can’t imagine what happened but let me spill the beans.
When the gentleman shouted my name I wished the wall could have swallow me up, I felt like urinating in my pants, my heart beat like it was to pop out. Well with all that, I stepped on the front to speak, guess what! It was the first time to stand up and speak in front of more than three people. With trembling lips, shaking body , sweaty palms I managed to say thank you for the great words you have shared with us today in a very low tone voice .
“I felt extremely isolated from my friends and family because I couldn’t explain to them what I was feeling. I had no idea what was wrong with me.”
Unfortunately after those few words, the left upper lip got swollen and I developed fever and it’s from that day that I made a choice to deal with what I was not understanding but it was eating me up, it was like cancer to my life stopping me from achieving my goals and being the best person I wanted to be. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity, what if I decided to stay seated who knows may be it was the time for change may be it could now be a disorder known as social anxiety disorder. “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life”. Louise Hay.
Fortunately for Gloria, a good friend suggested that she sees a therapist. “When I first met Gloria, she could hardly look me in the eye,” said Enock, the therapist who diagnosed her and started her treatment program. “Like most people with this condition, Gloria thought she was just shy or strange, but it was clear to me that her anxiety was debilitating, which is very different than shyness. Luckily, social anxiety disorder is highly treatable.”
Left untreated, social anxiety disorder can run your life. Anxieties can interfere with work, school, relationships or enjoyment of life. Social anxiety disorder can cause:
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble being assertive
- Negative self-talk
- Hypersensitivity to criticism
- Poor social skills
- Isolation and difficult social relationships
- Low academic and employment achievement
- Substance abuse, such as drinking too much alcohol
- Suicide or suicide attempts
There’s no way to predict what will cause someone to develop an anxiety disorder, but you can take steps to reduce the impact of symptoms if you’re anxious:
- Get help early. Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.
- Keep a journal. Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health professional identify what’s causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better.
- Prioritize issues in your life. You can reduce anxiety by carefully managing your time and energy. Make sure that you spend time doing things you enjoy.
- Avoid unhealthy substance use. Alcohol and drug use and even caffeine or nicotine use can cause or worsen anxiety. If you’re addicted to any of these substances, quitting can make you anxious. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a treatment program or support group to help you.
Social Anxiety disorder is treatable,let’s seek counselling and we break the social phobia jinx
COUNSELLING STUDENT, KYAMBOGO UNIVERSITY
0785 437107 Email: Nabatandagloria@gmail.com