In addition to my stutter and depression, I also have social anxiety. It wasn’t always easy, especially when I covered such events as the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final or Toronto’s Rogers Cup. I got through said events and many more situations but it didn’t come with an abundance to determination on my part.
It’s hard to explain my own experience with social anxiety sometimes, though. If I have my music, I can get through any otherwise-tough situation from walking through a crowded mall one week before Christmas or even riding the subway crammed like a sardine for a good 10 minutes. Conversely, just the seemingly-simple task of leaving my condo can be more challenging than it appears. Heck, there have been more than enough times when I rode my building’s elevator and cry, “Oh God,” if it stops before the ground floor. There’s never anything personal against who’s getting on the elevator, of course. Instead, it just underlines how there are days — and weeks — at a time where I just don’t want to make eye contact with anyone, much less say, “Hello”.
The thing about social anxiety, though, is that is actually a lot more common than we think. I, for one, have a hard time believing how common the affliction is but, bottom line, it is.
For one, there are plenty of celebrities who have social anxiety.
From Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence to Adele and Taylor Swift, social anxiety is an affliction that, unfortunately, doesn’t discriminate.
In fact, here is a list from Buzzfeed.com (which includes the four aforementioned) covering celebrities with social anxiety:
In fairness, though, we aren’t all celebrities and we may not all want to necessarily identify with them — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It is not uncommon for people with social anxiety to be viewed as unfriendly, aloof or disinterested. In fact, it’s usually just the opposite as those with social anxiety want to make friends and be included in groups.
For more information on social anxiety, visit the link below, courtesy of the Social Anxiety Association: