>It never ceases to amaze me how well our God knows us and our sin condition. I am doing a little research on friendship and social interactions. As I went to my Strong’s to research the words friend, companion, brother, and sister I discovered over 600 references to these words in the Scriptures, then as I began to dig deeper I saw that their are different specific definitions to these words according to their context. I’ll be spending more time looking into that in the next few weeks, the Lord has peaked my curiosity.
Well as I was looking at this I thought, “isn’t there some sort of disorder that keeps people from being able to socialize with others”. So I head to the computer and google “social disorder” and this is some of what I learned from the Mayo clinic:
Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition that causes an irrational anxiety or fear of activities or situations in which you believe that others are watching you or judging you. You also fear that you’ll embarrass or humiliate yourself.
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
- Intense fear of being in situations in which you don’t know people
- Fear of situations in which you may be judged
- Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
- Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
- Anxiety that disrupts your daily routine, work, school or other activities
- Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
- Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
Physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
- Profuse sweating
- Trembling or shaking
- Stomach upset
- Difficulty talking
- Shaky voice
- Muscle tension
- Cold, clammy hands
- Difficulty making eye contact
You may also be affected by:
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble being assertive
- Negative self-talk
- Hypersensitivity to criticism
- Poor social skills
Common, everyday experiences that may be difficult to endure when you have social anxiety disorder include:
- Using a public restroom or telephone
- Returning items to a store
- Interacting with strangers
- Writing in front of others
- Making eye contact
- Entering a room in which people are already seated
- Ordering food in a restaurant
- Being introduced to strangers
- Initiating conversations
Left untreated, social anxiety disorder can be debilitating. Your anxieties may run your life. They can interfere with work, school, relationships or enjoyment of life. You may be considered an “underachiever,” when in reality it’s your fears holding you back from excelling. In severe cases, you may drop out of school, quit work or lose friendships.
Social anxiety disorder can also lead to other health problems, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Excessive drinking
I read this and I thought, my goodness, this was me.
This STILL IS me at times, if I let it be.
Shocking news (not really) as you read this info you also read that women are most likely to suffer from this “social anxiety disorder”. How ironic that we as women are labeled as not being able to pass up a conversation yet studies show that we as women are most likely to suffer from this social disorder.
Oh my, before I came to lean on the everlasting arms of my Savior I really did suffer from this. I recall it hitting me in 1st grade. I would go to the nurse everyday sick just to get out of class. I remember going to the teacher balling my eyes out asking her to move my seat because these two boys were smiling and giggling at me. I remember hiding behind the filing cabinet when the class left for P.E. because we were supposed to be playing a new game that day that I had never played and I was terrified. I remember sitting in class with my head down, making no eye contact with the teacher hoping with all my might that she would not call me to go to the board. I don’t know why I reacted this way to such things. I had a wonderful loving family. There was nothing outside of myself to blame this on. It was within me.
Even in college when asked to go work something out on the board, terror would strike me. What if something was on the back of my pants? What if my underwear was showing? What if I trip on the way up? What if I forget what I am doing when up there? What if I pass gas in front of everyone, because my stomach was already upset from being nervous from just walking in the door to the classroom? What if?
Do you know I dropped speech at least four times in college. I was 30 years old before I finally conquered this class, but in the power of Christ and in the strength that He gave me I had victory.
John wrote perfect love casts out fear. Jesus told us to cast ALL our cares on Him. Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything but in all things pray. Jesus said I am with you. No matter the situation I am with you. Little by little the perfect love of my Saviour has been working away at the things that used to leave me crippled in fear. As I learn that I am nothing apart from Him I learn that I am everything in Him.
So to my fellow in the closet or out of the closet social anxiety disorder friends:
Know that nothing is impossible with God.
Know that in Christ you can have victory.