Social anxiety.

In my last blog I looked at using a diary to address our thoughts, feelings and behavours in relation to fear of failure and how my own fear of failure was preventing me from applying for a particular job. Yet despite my fears, I found fulfilment in my life as a teacher, a principal and a counsellor. I believe that this was my destiny. In my training as a counsellor I had to undertake fifty hours of personal counselling. This changed my life in the most positive way possible. I regret how my fear prevented me from speaking at the Oireachtas and perhaps arousing the anger of others, but I have let that go. I have accepted that I once had a deep fear. Letting go of regret is important, because those with core fear live in a world of regret, a futile world, a negative place that they wallow in, where the words ‘if only’ predominates. I believe that all of us has a destiny, and it is up to you to find it and banish fear from your world.
I hope these extracts helped you to understand some aspects of fear of failure. Now I want to help you explore a most devastating fear, called social phobia or social anxiety.
Once known as the ‘neglected disorder,’ social fear is now seen as one of the most disabling conditions to beset human beings. There are widely varying statistics about how prevalent it is, but research shows that it affects up to twenty percent of people, making it one of the most common anxiety disorders. At some stage or another we all experience normal social fear. We are apprehensive when we have to make a speech, give a presentation, ask someone out for a date, sing a song or perform in some way in public. It is only when it becomes so distressing that it inhibits us from living happily and interferes with our life that it can be termed pathological and requires treatment.
Social fear is more formally known as social anxiety or social phobia, and is seen as an anxiety disorder that affects both men and women. Psychologists rightly distinguish between fear and anxiety. While they are distinct, they may overlap and the differences are well explained by the Swiss biochemist, Thierry Steimer, in his article ‘The Biology of fear-and anxiety-related behaviors.’ If you are interested in brain function this is an excellent article. Anxiety is a body sensation and has a large number of physical symptoms that arise at a possible or imagined threat. It is, therefore, a generalised response to an unknown danger. Fear is a primitive emotion in the face of real or immediate danger, or what is seen as a danger. Without fear, however, there would be no anxiety, although some psychologists argue that anxiety can be converted into fear. I think the opposite would be closer to the truth. I have never met anyone who had anxiety that was not accompanied by a silent and hidden fear.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
I am the author of six books
When a Child Dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family
Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying
Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
I’ll Meet You at the Roundy O
Priest, Politics and Society in Post Famine Ireland 1850-1891
Prince of Swindlers. John Sadleir MP 1813-1856
I am currently writing a major work on DID (Multiple Personality Disorder)

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