DO YOU HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY?
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.
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!