Social anxiety

From ActuallyAutistic Wiki

Social Anxiety is the fear of being perceived and therefore judged as you really are. It can lead to a compulsory masking to prevent the very feared judgment. But when you can't mask anymore due to fatigue and exhaustion of faking your true Self, others will notice the change in your mood and etc, and might talk about it behind you, wondering what's going on. To those who have difficulty to identify social cues and understanding context, this situation can increase social anxiety, therefore leading to a shutdown or a meltdown, selective mutism or things like that. And it can be a very painful, endless circle of triggering each other - yours and of people that are around you, because they can't understand what's going on. (if they are allistic or NT, it can be even worse, leading to them backlashing and bullying you... so be careful in this situations).

Some ways to cope with it that might help:

- Move, Take Action. Shake your body, walk, talk to someone you trust with your heart, body and mind (if you haven't any, you can record an private audio in somewhere far away, drink a cup of water, write it down, all your thoughts and anguish. Shake it off, do whatever needed to regulate yourself, your emotions, your sensorial needs, etc. 
- Go to a safe place if you can - bathrooms are great! But if you are in a bathroom that is near the people that may be talking about you it can trigger even more social anxiety!!! (very specific but it happened to me a lot) So be careful!! 
- Go home!! you can leave the place and the context that is bringing you pain, no worries nor fear of what others might think, specially in this case.

If you truly care about the people around you and feel they care about you too in other context, it can be helpful to both of you to talk about it. Not right away. You can take your time to regulate your emotions first, don't rush to meet others need fastly. Be gentle with you.

Craft your own way. Experiment. What i wrote can not serve you and your needs. Find your own way to cope and learn with anxiety itself - which need is not being met? for example.

And here, the DSM - note that it can be a little confusing or too generic.

    • Social Anxiety Disorder (DSM 5 - 300.23)**:

1. A persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating. 2. Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally pre-disposed Panic Attack.   3. The person recognizes that this fear is unreasonable or excessive. 4. The feared situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety and distress. 5. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia. 6. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting 6 or more months. 7. The fear or avoidance is not due to direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs, medications) or a general medical condition not better accounted for by another mental disorder... -