Learning to Live Courageously with Social Anxiety

By Emily Dillow

I have had social anxiety for as long as I can remember. I have seen countless therapists, and finally, at 28 years old, I have a therapist who is really helping me. I would like to spread the word that social anxiety disorder is treatable if you find a knowledgeable therapist who specializes in CBT and exposure therapy.

Two or three words social anxiety is not:
Social anxiety is NOT…

  • untreatable
  • the boss of me
  • a hopeless diagnosis

Inspirational mantras or quotes that brings me hope and optimism:

  • My mantra is “courage over comfort.”
  • My favorite quote is: “The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illnesses we may not.” -Dr. Elyn Saks
  • Another quote I like is, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.” -Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The best technique that calms me when social anxiety hits hard:

When I am experiencing intense social anxiety, I think to myself, “Awesome, this is a great opportunity to confront the bully that is my social anxiety!” It is an interesting paradox that when I become more welcoming of the anxiety, the anxiety often becomes less intense.

Words of wisdom for parents:

If you suspect that your child is struggling with social anxiety disorder, talk to them about it, and get them help as soon as you can. Seeing a great CBT therapist who does exposures with me is changing my life, and it can change your child’s life too. Living in the depths of social anxiety disorder is no way to live. Learning to live courageously to overcome your social anxiety, on the other hand, is a fabulous way to live.


Comments are closed.