Hi there and welcome. I'll start here for those who may not know or have a clear understanding of what this is. Besides the fact that it is an absolute pain in the ass to deal with daily, the first thing that I want to put out there is that being shy and suffering from SAD are not the same thing! I would much rather be afflicted with bouts of shyness than what I have come to describe as being allergic to social situations. The definition of shy is being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people. Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is a Mental Health Condition. It is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by everyone around you. This fear can affect work, school, and your other day-to-day activities. There is no certain look to it at times and it takes many forms. Everyone who has been diagnosed is affected differently, some have a low level where others have a high level of SAD. My disorder varies from day to day. It likes to play tricks on me, some days I feel kind of normal and make all these plans and promises...by that night I'm laying in bed staring at the ceiling wondering what in the hell did I just do and how can I get out of it. Does that make sense? I hope it does otherwise my disorder will have me feeling terribly guilty later today. Just kidding.
It took me years to accept and start to discuss my diagnosis for fear of the stigma of having not one but multiple hereditary illnesses (Gee thanks fam). I'll get into that later on down the line as this is the one that affects me the most. I went through most of my life masking it or avoiding triggers. Do you know how hard it is to live in a world full of people and try everyday to avoid them? Now that I know and have accepted my diagnosis I can move forward and manage it or find ways to reduce the negative effects of it. I know I may never be completely "healed" but I do know that I can have a better quality of life. I know that I can co-exist with other people without fear of judgment and obsessing over every little interaction I have with them. I have tasted freedom from my disorder and I want more of it without the use of outside agents to cope. This is Round 4 or 5 of my attempt at eradicating my SAD but there is something very different about this battle than my previous scuffles with it. This time, I'm laying down my usual weapon of choice-which had become dull and ineffective, and fighting this thing straight up no chaser...literally. Stay tuned-more to come shortly.