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Social Anxiety Disorder - It just isn't fair.

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

Social Anxiety Disorder or S.A.D is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. And it doesn't play fair.

Anxiety and fear relate in that you may feel anxious about the thought of seeing a spider but fear quickly replaces that when you actually see the spider. Fear is the immediate response to threatening stimuli, a natural response to get the body to move quickly away from a dangerous event or object to keep us safe, whereas anxiety is the pro-longed sustained response to something, although quite natural in its own right, dangerous if left on too long.

So anxiety is the irrational thought pattern, and fear is the bodies response to get you moving from a nearby threat. The two often meet and become irrational in both fear response and anxiety.

In 2015 it was reported that 11.2% of the Australian population had anxiety-related conditions[1], including S.A.D and the US 18% of the population was reported to have the same conditions. That is a staggering 1 in 9 people suffering with this problem. Sadly, only 1/3 of these people actually receive treatment for it.

Social Anxiety Disorder affects younger people from an age as early as 11 upwards to 40.

Social Anxiety Disorder physical symptoms:

  • · difficulty concentrating

  • · restlessness

  • · rapid heartbeat

  • · trembling or shaking

  • · feeling light-headed or faint

  • · numbness or nausea

  • · sweating

  • stumbling over words and stammering when talking to someone.

Some common causes:

· Family History

· Ongoing stressful event

· Physical health problems

· Other mental health problems

· Personality

· Substance use

My personal struggle.

I yield from a very just get on with it and toughen up mindset upbringing, stemming from an era where mental health was not talked about and everyone just accepted that it was “just that person’s character”. This was passed down to me through watching and listening and generally conditioned to the ideals and values of my family and associations. So for many years any emotional reaction I had was characterized immediately. Not just from others, but from myself as well.

I was faced with a situation that would leave me with acute anxiety related conditions that felt like they crept up overnight. (truth is, they actually did. I’ll go into that later) It was through running my very first business. I was subjected to a badgering of bully type behavior from colleagues that had my head and emotions heading in all kinds of directions. The anger and violent thought patterns and procedures I went through, to the suck it up and get on with it fixed mindset, to the judge-mental statements I made of myself like “I’m being too sensitive” and the constant visual stimuli of these people. At the same time similar behavior starting to unwind on social media as well.

It very quickly escalated to me shutting off and shutting down from everyone around me. I was hurting. I had over-generalized my own thoughts and every emotion on a constant loop. I would cry at the drop of a hat, leading to anger for those that did this, then find a way to comfort myself whether that was food or something else. Leading to guilt, then around we go again!

Before I knew it, I couldn’t leave the house. If I did, it was quick and I would in fact be sick before I left, and sometimes while I was out. Every-time the phone rang, I felt immediately ill and couldn’t answer. My heart would race. My face filled with blood, but then rushed away just as quickly. I would shake. Leaving me swooning.

I struggled with this for nearly 5 years. All while raising children through primary school, and trying to get a business in a flooded market – up and running! (while struggling to answer calls and post adverts!)

Remember when I said it happened overnight? I mean this in the literal sense.

Scientists use to think it was because of the amygdala – a small part of the brain associated to the emotional centre of the brain. Anxiety was always considered to be the amygdala in hyperactive mode. Now we know there are far more roadmaps in the brain that actually cause a chain reaction of emotions/ “energy in motion”[2] that directly impact the bodies coping mechanism to the stressful event. Prolonged exposure to the emotional event or followed quickly by another without some break and time to calm down completely, can and will create physical problems. In my case – being sick before going out and shaking. It was as if I woke up with these physical problems. And I did.

I have been able to break through. I have in fact let go of my anxiety and the fear web I had created. For me it was through a series of books, blogs like this one, hypnotherapy, meditation and work with other kinesiology students as I was studying with them all helped pull away the now learned pattern that my body now had, its way of “keeping me safe” (thanks for that body...appreciate it)

The biggest thing though – which all of these things have, and that’s communication. Talking about it. It’s okay to talk about it! To talk about it meant it was a reality, one I no longer wanted.

Me now - I am able to go to events and talk to people without the problems I was facing before. Even though on occasions I can still stammer or forget what I was talking, I am 10x better now then I was and will keep getting better and improving.

Anxiety can become a problem for many different factors, and each will treat us differently.

But, it can be treated, both with medication and holistically without medication.

Some tips to managing anxiety through nutrition is a diet rich in Omega 3, probiotic foods, and B-vitamins all assist with alleviating the feeling of anxiousness. Always consult your doctor when you make changes to your diet.

Anxiety does not define you. It will never define me. It was a learning curve and become a passion to help others through it. I hope this blog has given you some hope that yes you too can clear the fog.

[1] 4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15

[2] Dr. Joe Dispenza/Becoming Supernatural

Located in Burton, South Australia, Australia
Lilly J Petkowski
E-Healer & Coach
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 copyright 2019 by Lilly J.  Balancing You does not diagnose symptoms and/or prescribe medication.

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