The physical symptoms of social anxiety vary from person to person, but can include feeling hot, blushing, developing a rash, having a dry mouth, and palpitations.; whether I’m talking to a stranger in the store, or speaking to colleagues in a meeting.If my thoughts begin to stray, I take a deep breath and reassure myself that all will be OK.
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I’m 27 years old and I’d like to make sure I don’t waste my young years feeling anxious.
And, just like Bridget Jones, I too am haunted by the image of dying alone and being eaten by pet alsatians.
In the buildup to a date, I try not to think about the impending event.
I busy myself with work, and try to block out any thoughts about the myriad things that could go wrong.
As you might have guessed, I have social anxiety and I’m doing my very best to hide it. According to Anxiety UK, 10% of the UK's population is likely to have a "disabling anxiety disorder" at some stage in their life.
Social anxiety disorder is a persistent and overwhelming fear of social interactions.It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; I worry so much about the prospect of blushing that I end up going even redder. Whenever I get it, I feel as if my body is betraying me.The problem is, unless I wear a balaclava, there’s no way to hide a flushed face. However confident or self-assured I come across, the rash on my chest and neck undermines me, and tells the world that I’m not sure of myself.As he tells me about himself, I listen intently, nodding and smiling intermittently.But, unbeknown to my date, while I’m doing my very best impression of a swan, I'm far from the outward picture of calm.Knowing that we’ve already established some mutual interests and common ground means I won’t fret over the possibility of awkward silences.