I do not diagnose myself with information from the Internet, so I hesitate to attribute myself to a social anxiety disorder. However, my condition is just like it.
Youth and College Time
Until I was eighteen, I was the calmest person of those I knew. I could get a little nervous from time to time, but otherwise, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Most psychologists agree that anxiety, like almost any mental problem, comes from childhood. Parents fight and threaten each other with a divorce, life is unstable, and the child sees all this and becomes anxious. This is not my situation: in my family, the atmosphere was favorable, so I grew up a mentally healthy and adequate person.
I never threw tantrums; I tried to speak clearly and logically. I didn’t get offended, nor was I sad for no reason. I practically did not cry, and I thought that often people come up with their problems and fly off the handle.
At eighteen, I entered the Barnard College and left my native town. I had no one in New York, and this fact bothered me a lot – I worried about moving to another city. I packed my bags, and my parents sent me with tears in their eyes to such a distant and large city. And here is where I faced the psychological problem of social anxiety disorder for the first time. This was one of the psychological topics that I did not know anything about.
I lived in a dorm with lots of people I never met before. This situation got worse after one very tragic event in my life.
For the past six months I have felt that my condition is not normal and not peculiar to me, but I could not understand how it all began. Now the trigger is obvious, but for so long, I had been extinguishing in myself all of the memories and emotions about the situation, and only recently have I connected it with my anxiety.
For a long time I wanted to get a cat, and I had asked for such a gift. I get attached to pets quickly and treat them like children. On my nineteenth birthday, I got a kitten and fell in love with him on the first day.
It was an amazing cat – calm, insanely gentle and obedient. He followed me everywhere: if I lay down on the sofa, he would be with me, or if I go to the kitchen, he goes there too. In character, he was like me, and therefore together we were comfortable. I loved him so much.
But a terrible thing happened – he fell out of the window and plummeted to the ground. I began to drink sedatives and sat for about a year, sometimes changing them or taking a break. I became isolated, stopped communicating with people, and I didn’t want to see anyone. But I had to continue my studies in college. Then, I realized that I needed to get a grip and found several ways to deal with social anxiety.
- I used the tactics of temporal distance. When I feel uncontrolled anxiety, I imagine that everything is behind me, and I look back at today’s events after a year or even several years.
- I take a break and breathe. Meditation helps me slow down and ease bouts of anxiety. I set the timer for 10 minutes, turn on music or sounds of nature that I enjoy, and take a comfortable pose while sitting on a chair or lying on my back.
- I keep a diary. The diary is a good therapeutic tool: even emotions and fears that are difficult for me to voice to relatives and friends can be shared in it.
- I try to get rid of stress. I get enough sleep, eat healthy food, and when I get too much homework, I ask for assignment help on EssayShark or read their tips on writing an essay. It is a useful service which you can read about in this essayshark review.
I hope that my story will be helpful if you come across something similar. Thank you for listening and reading to the end.