Don’t con­fuse it with be­ing shy or awk­ward around peo­ple. It’s a crip­pling con­di­tion that could mess with both your social and pro­fes­sional lives. The good news is, you don’t have to live with it.

Herworld (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

It’s a crip­pling con­di­tion that could ma­jorly mess with your life.

Riverdale star Lili Rein­hart has bat­tled it. So have ac­tresses Jen­nifer Lawrence and Olivia Munn, and even singer Adele. We’re talk­ing about social anxiety – a con­di­tion in which peo­ple feel in­tense anxiety and dis­tress about in­ter­act­ing with oth­ers in un­fa­mil­iar social sit­u­a­tions. It can, in fact, be crip­pling. Lili has said in pre­vi­ous in­ter­views that her social anxiety, which de­vel­oped when she was a kid, was so bad that she even had trou­ble go­ing to birth­day par­ties. “I begged my mum to let me be home­schooled at one point for a se­mes­ter, be­cause I was so mis­er­able at school,” she added.

Psy­chol­o­gist Cristina Gon­za­lez, of Al­liance Coun­selling in Sin­ga­pore, says peo­ple with social anxiety are not nec­es­sar­ily in­tro­verts, or shy. “In­tro­verts are more fo­cused on their in­ner world,” Cristina clar­i­fies. “Un­like ex­tro­verts, they are not as in­ter­ested in other peo­ple, so they are less mo­ti­vated to so­cialise.” In­tro­verts avoid social events be­cause they don’t feel like go­ing. Peo­ple with social anxiety do so be­cause they worry about be­ing neg­a­tively judged and eval­u­ated by oth­ers.

The con­di­tion might not be as un­com­mon as you think, as sta­tis­tics from the In­sti­tute of Men­tal Health in­di­cate that one in 10 Sin­ga­pore­ans ac­tu­ally suf­fers from anxiety and de­pres­sive dis­or­ders.

It’s not that I’m shy – I just can’t deal with be­ing judged by ev­ery­one!

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