Social Anxiety ~ External factors

soical anxiety

Content Notice ~ Mental health topics discussed…

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is an intense fear or dread of social or performance situations. This might happen before, during or after the event.

I  am Lucky

I attended Eroticon by myself in 2018 and was lucky enough to stay in a room with the wonderful Eye who I had met briefly a few weeks before.

On the Friday afternoon Posy and I got together for the first time. Then later that evening, at the meet and greet, we spoke to so many different people I had only ever come across online and spent time with Luv Bunny and Cousin Pons.

Pons and I teamed up the following day at the conference. We  chatted to new people and had fun with the sponsors as well.

I was excited by it all and a little over stimulated. But at no time did I experience social anxiety. But I am one of the lucky ones.

I became curious and began to wonder if people are predisposed to social anxiety.

A councillor friend suggests anxiety may be genetic but is mainly influenced by environmental factors.

Looking back to when I was a child I was quite a loner but kids still chose to play with me. I was lucky. At secondary school I starting to bloom and was thought of as attractive. I became self assured.  (This may have been the result of my Mum having so much belief in me.)

Any how, these two factors could have contributed to me being socially gregarious.

Don’t get me wrong I have never been over confident or possessed a massive ego but I have always had an inner sense of self. I believed in me – I believe in me

social anxiety
Me and my Bessie from way back when

My Children – yes again!

I got to thinking about my children. At one point after a dreadful car accident Darling Near Miss stopped going out and mixing all together. It was understandable so I didn’t panic. I let her work through it. But the social anxiety persisted for nearly two years and there was some school bullying along the way. However,  eventfully she started socialising again. She ‘s a pretty girl and I immediately noticed she was very self aware and although she didn’t like being the centre of attention was mature and confident when around people.

Then, she started taking the contraceptive pill and things changed.

Darling Near Miss became anxious generally and began suffering from SAD. At the time I just thought it was something she was going through but when Mona told me that she too was having problems and  had developed an Eating Disorder shortly after having the contraceptive implant – I began to do a little research.

Artificial hormones and anxiety

Artificial hormones have an effect on different areas of the brain and nervous system. It appears this may be the reason behind why some women suddenly begin to experience symptoms of anxiety, depression or are plagued with other mental health related issues.

Of course this does not apply across the board. But in my opinion should be taken into consideration when choosing a contraceptive solution.

As of last October both my daughters decided to stop using hormonal contraceptives. Darling Near Miss had her first winter in several years with only mild symptoms of SAD. And Mona found the inner strength to start focusing on ways to improve her relationship with food.

I am not saying it is all suddenly perfect but they both seem to have actively made a step in the right direction. So smiles all round in our household.

Changing ways to interact

Putting hormones aside – In some ways now a days it must be quiet difficult for the young navigating socially. As a teen if I wanted interaction I would perhaps talk on the phone briefly, my step father forever reminding me of the cost of a call. Or sneak out to the park and sit on the swings chatting. Today all this can be done in the cozy security of your kids bedroom on a mobile or laptop. Perhaps this gives a false sense of self as so many understated cues can only be read when you hear a persons voice or see their face when talking.

Without these signs it’s easy to become confused as to whether you are a big duck in a small pond or vice versa…

When I was researching mental health, in the name of my daughters, I came across an article in the guardian. Not a paper I would normally read. However,  I wouldn’t want to actually hold it up as an example of trash because I don’t read any newspapers as a rule. They are mostly scaremongering, badly written or targeted at the average IQ of a 12 year old. Rags, in my opinion 😉 Anyway back to the article I found on social anxiety in young people.

It opens with this sweeping statement

The number of young people in the UK who say they do not believe that life is worth living has doubled in the last decade, amid a sense of overwhelming pressure from social media which is driving feelings of inadequacy, new research suggests.

And goes on to water it down slightly. But the statistics still show social media is not always an uplifting experience for young people.

Social Media

When I was sixteen I remember staying in all week to wait for that call, from that boy and feeling elated when he finally plucked up the courage to ring The endorphins flowed. Now it is often the case that the teen waits for that ‘like’ for their selfie on the media platform to get the same feeling. I don’t believe it is easy for them. Anxiety is bound to arise when it is time to leave the bedroom and meet peers face to face.

Even the guardian says,

Social media reinforces those feelings of not being good enough.

So how the hell does a kid then leave the safety of their home and face a group of people in a social situation?

All power and respect to those that do…

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16 thoughts on “Social Anxiety ~ External factors

  1. Social anxiety is a funny beast. I have it when I am in new situations and large gatherings. As an introvert, I tend to prefer fewer people, as a rule, but in situations where I am comfortable, and with people I know, I can be quite extroverted.
    I can’t imagine going to an event like Eroticon all by myself. When I went, I had my Husband…and I also met up with E.L. Byrne pretty quickly. I have a knack for seeking out “kin” wherever I go. And once I find them, I stick close, as it makes me feel more comfortable and safe. I don’t like to be alone in social situations,

    1. I am the same Brigit – i dont really like going out but when i do am very open and friendly. I am ok alone, I think i pretend i am someone else lol x

  2. I’m not sure parents today are doing any favours to their kids by avoiding “phone supervision”. I think it’s important to supervise usage and perhaps to limit it. Especially in the preteen or young teen age groups. But many parents have no idea what their kids are up to and also have no way of accessing their kids phones. So bullying and sexting and travelling to websites they shouldn’t becomes easier and easier.

  3. I agree with what you are saying about social media and I’d do think it leads to unhealthy comparisons. I also think that people can be judgmental and nasty behind what they feel is the anonymity of their words. This is bound to add to anxiety and can have a real impact on people. This is an interesting post ?

  4. I agree with with El…I would hate growing up in the age of social media. It was bad enough being an awkward teenager growing into an adult but with social media …geez no way. Bullying is done online with adult mean girls and little girls. No one ever has to leave the house, but what happens when they do leave the house? Even a trip to the grocery store could cause anxiety I guess. And as for Eroticon, just imagine how nervous one must feel trying to “measure” up to some of the heavy hitters just knowing that at any moment they could turn on you for not meeting their standards or expectations. I suppose that would cause some PTSD huh? I was really hoping that those attending would link up and share some of their knowledge and experiences of how to handle that nervousness of meeting new people, public speaking etc. Not too many link ups so either its not a huge problem or they must be popping the Xanax like here in the states. I did hear Eroticon was cancelled and I wonder if there are some out there who were just chewing their nails off with anxiety, fear and nervousness. Bet they are relieved and feeling good. One would assume the event is being rescheduled and money refunded.
    You’re so lucky not to suffer like other folks who suffer with social anxiety.
    Thanks for linking up May..
    xoxox

    1. Thanks Cat – I know i am lucky – I think even thou i have had some bad bits from my past my Mum really helped solidify that I am worthy etc x

  5. That picture reminded me of the casual dress styles in Dirty Dancing.

    There’s something carefree in the way you describe social interactions of your youth that we have definitely lost – you had to be prepared to meet people for real and as you say, even the telephone was generally off limits.

    We have so many options now to hide away, to remove the physical interaction and feel “safe”. ??

    1. Interesting what u say about the photo as that was another thing – we all went out dressed casually or for fun. That meant we were not always thinking about what we looked like. More interested in enjoying the company of others x

  6. I could not imagine being a kid today growing up with social media. I can speak before a group with ease, act on a stage and put on an event, but before walking into a strange room I am a shaking mess, wondering if people will like me. To go to Eroticon would be very difficult, but once I was there I suspect I would be fine. I am glad to hear the little M’s are doing well, and such a cute photo of you and your Bessie.

  7. Thanks for this May. The influence of others on how we see ourselves has a great deal to do with the power of the message maker. Self confidence comes from an intrinsic appreciation of our innate worth and a health dollop of scepticism about the authenticity of the projected, rather than sincere, message from those around us who have agendas and their own, massaged, frailties.

    1. In haste, my words might be off. To clarify; The power of the message maker may be something we construct ourselves and that we should have a healthy disregard for manipulative media makers and the words of those near us when they amount to coercion in varying degree of subtlety.

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