Hey everybody! Happy Thursday, now today’s question is all about making friends when we have social anxiety. But before we jump into that, are you new to my channel? Welcome! I am a licensed therapist creating educational mental health videos, and I release them on Mondays and on Thursdays, so make sure you are subscribed and have your notifications turned on so that you don’t miss out.
This week’s question is: Hey Kati, how does someone make friends when they are over 30 and have social anxiety? I always hear of advice about joining groups or clubs, but that just feels impossible to me. But I do want to socialize more and make friends, help!
I thought this was a great question, and although I have talked about how we can make friends as an adult, I haven’t addressed the very important issue in this question, what if we have social anxiety. Now for those of you who don’t know social anxiety disorder otherwise known as social phobia is diagnosed when we experience fear of anxiety about one or more social situations in which we worry we could be judged or scrutinized by others. This could be if we have to give a speech in front of the people we work with, or even if we have to eat in front of other people. We must also fear that we will act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be negatively evaluated by others. Social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety, we avoid social situations as much as we can, and our anxiety or fear is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the even. Meaning that even though the fear and anxiety is very real and warranted to us, if we had to explain it to someone else they wouldn’t understand why we were so worried or anxious. Does that make sense? And our social anxiety must be persistent lasting for 6 months or more, and as always, it must impair our ability to function in our lives. So that’s how social anxiety is diagnosed based on what the DSM which is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Now I know it’s not the end all be all of things, but it does ensure we are all talking about the same thing when we say social anxiety…
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