Hi my name is Edward I am here to talk to
you about Social Anxiety Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder also known as Social
Phobia occurs when a person is afraid of performing in a social situation
Hey excuse me can we turn off this voice thing and make my face normal
There that’s better My Social Anxiety was so bad before that I
would have needed to disguise myself to talk to some many people
These days I seem to be ok speaking in front of groups, that is just one of the many things
I never thought I’d be able to handle For as long as I can remember I hated public
situations where I felt like there was pressure to perfom
gym activities laugher
birthday parties sporting events
cheering/booing I avoided it, I felt embarrassed, like everyone
was staring at me and thinking “look at Edward he is such a loser”
Giving a speech in class had to be the worst experience for me I would nervously walk to
the front of the room, pretty much anything like that made me feel like I was under the
spotlight. I was convinced that I Iooked stupid and that everyone was judging me, I started
sweating and blushing and shaking it was a nightmare
I started to avoid uncomfortable situations, it seemed like days I was suppose to speak
in class or race in gym I ended staying home with an upset stomach or terrible headache
I was to terrified to ask a girl in class to a dance last year even though I really
wanted to take someone. I watched everyone else dancing and having a good time and I
wondered why it was so hard for me to just chill out and have some fun
I know that everyone gets nervous and anxious sometimes but my anxiety was out of this world,
I thought that there was something wrong with me, my parents were getting worried too
“Edward your father and I are concerned about you, you are such a special young man and
we are so proud of you but it seems like your anxiety is really getting in the way of you
enjoying life” “I went through some similar fears and worries
at your age son, I think its time we take you to see a doctor to get these feelings
figured out” “Hello Edward”
“Hi Dr. B” “Edward you have a condition called Social
Anxiety Disorder think of the different parts of your brain,
you got your prefrontal cortex, your basal ganglia, your limbic system, your amygdala,
there is all kinds of stuff going on up there. Now imagine that each part of the brain is
like a different building, the buildings are connected by pathways, on these pathways are
messengers that carry information between buildings. These messengers are neurotransmitters,
serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, gaba and more
A little bit of stress or anxiety in a social situation is actually helpful. Think of a
gymnast in the Olympics the stress of competition actually helps her perform better. In your
brain the messages actually start to go haywire everytime you feel social anxiety, the messengers
flood your brain with alarming signals making you feel anxious and paralyzed with fear
We are not exactly certain why some young people have Social Anxiety Disorder most likely
its a combination of factors, genetics, learned behaviours. There are some great treatments
for Social Anxiety Disorder, what I would like you to do is to go to this website and
reading all you can about Social Anxiety Disorder. Many people find that once they understand
what is happening to the brain and body the feel a little bit better, I am also going
to refer you to a therapist. She will do something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with
you. If you are still feeling anxious we can try prescribing you some medication but I
would like to wait and see how you do with the therapy first”
The doctor was right I learned a lot about Social Anxiety Disorder, I went to therapy
and it really helped Remember those buildings sidewalks and messengers
well therapy helped me learn how to slow those messengers down and have more control over
how my brain communicates with my body. Having my parents support made a huge difference
in managing my Social Anxiety Disorder. I hope this gives you a better understanding
how Social Anxiety Disorder works I’ve got to run, I joined the speech team
and we have to meet tonight. I am doing all kinds of things now that I would never have
dared to do before, its pretty awesome Social Anxiety Disorder is a real medical
condition if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms call a doctor and get help you can
also check out this website www.teenmentalhealth.org for more information

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