Social Anxiety

January 5, 2016

social anxiety elitereStories of Those With Social Anxiety And How They Overcame Shyness

In a world where social interactions are crucial, whether you are involved in your school or college projects, at work with your colleagues or practically anywhere else, you need to have social skills if you want to be noticed. But what happens with those people who don’t feel comfortable around new people or in social situations that seem normal for most of us? Things like speaking in public or eating with your boss and colleagues are very challenging and stressful for those suffering from social anxiety disorder, those who feel more comfortable avoiding certain situations than confronting them.

As a shy and social anxious person, I found and purchased Grant Anderson‘s book Social Anxiety: Stories of Those With Social Anxiety And How They Overcame Shyness hoping that I will learn how to be more confident and, if possible, not to make a fool of myself that often when I’m speaking in front of a group of people, as it usually happens. However, the best part about reading this book is that the author himself suffered from social anxiety, but he worked very hard to overcome his biggest fears. So come with me on a journey where you will learn more about this life threatening disorder, because it can easily ruin your social life and I guess nobody wants that.

Mr. Anderson’s book comprises of an introduction, four chapters with several subchapters, a conclusion and two bonuses. Because this is a nonfiction book, I’m going to briefly present the chapters and the subchapters in order to let you decide if this book is for you or not. In the Introduction we learn that millions of people suffer from social anxiety, being unable to control their fear regarding social situations and to live a normal life. As I mentioned before, the author himself suffered from this disorder, but he sought professional help, tried many methods of treatment and reduced his anxiety. Now he is a psychologist that supports people who are struggling with the same problem as he did. Anderson shares with the readers what he knows about social anxiety and how other people learnt to break free from it.

The first chapter is An Introduction to Social Anxiety, a mental disorder that usually occurs between adolescence and early adulthood and it seems to be a result of a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors linked to the way a person’s brain is wired, emotional traumas or “being overprotected as a youth and not forming proper skills to deal with social situations” (Loc. 124). The psychologist also presents a few lists of the main triggers of social anxiety, emotional symptoms, physical symptoms and behavioural symptoms from which you can highlight the responses your mind and body gives you in certain stressful social situations you encounter. I have to say that it feels a little strange when you read about things you experienced several times in your life, but admitting that you have a problem is part of the process, as Mr. Anderson wrote. He also advises us to seek professional help in order to understand how severe our disorder is and what type of treatment works for us.

In the second chapter, the author presents the methods of treatment and medication for social anxiety disorder. The methods of treatment the psychologist talks about are: Challenging Negative ThoughtsLearning to Control Your Breath, Facing Your FearsBuild Stronger RelationshipsChange Your Lifestyle and CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. In the third chapter you can read about Social Anxiety Setbacks and Maintaining Your Progress. Your problem will not go away in the first sessions of therapy or in a few days after you begin practising the techniques mentioned above. Though the skills you achieved through time can keep your anxiety under control – if the treatment is constant – the slips or setbacks will occur, but you can overcome them by analysing each thought rationally and seeing if it is worth worrying about your fear or dark scenario. Avoiding negativity in this situations is very important for your progress.

The fourth chapter is about Social Anxiety Triggers And Stories on How People Were Able to Overcome Them, where the author attaches the story of a person who defeated one’s social anxiety disorder to one of  the triggers mentioned in the first chapter. There is also a Conclusion and two bonuses at the end of the book, which I’ll let you discover on your own.

To wrap it up, I’m sorry for this long review, I truly hope that I didn’t bore you, but this book was really interesting. Even though I knew a few techniques to decrease anxiety, the down-to-earth language used by the author, the style and the examples he gives to the readers… it really makes me feel better and makes me believe that my fear of public speaking can be fought through perseverance and support.

by Alina Andreea Cătărău

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5 Responses to Social Anxiety

  1. Elena Atudosiei on January 5, 2016 at 7:04 am

    And now I want to read the book, too.

    • Alina Andreea Catarau on January 5, 2016 at 8:49 am

      I’m glad to hear that. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Alina Andreea Catarau on January 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

    My review also appeared on the Indie Author Book Reviews, platform: It’s in the Science section

    • Elena Atudosiei on January 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      That was fast. 🙂

      • Alina Andreea Catarau on January 5, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        Yup, I was equally surprised. 🙂

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