Talking openly about social anxiety to people who haven’t experienced it can be really difficult, but a YouTube star was determined to start a conversation with her fans about it.
In her candid tweet, Jessie Paege described what it’s like having social anxiety and that it’s not just about staying indoors, watching Netflix and avoiding people.
Her tweet struck a chord with many people, prompting others to share their experiences of dealing with social anxiety and stress.
It has been retweeted more than 59,000 times with almost a thousand people sharing their stories and support.
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One user, Morgan Elaine, replied describing her anxiety as if she is “falling down the rabbit hole of endless ‘what ifs’ and scenarios for all the bad things that could happen”.
Others talked about preferring to communicate via text rather than in person, or constantly replaying conversations in their heads.
People also shared their experiences of being stigmatised for having social anxiety.
The phrases such as “get over it” and “you’ll be okay” are not what some people with anxiety issues want to hear or read they wrote.
Nicole Pavez said she is a “shy extrovert” who had to “fight against a lot of forces” in order to meet people.
Another person described the dilemma where she want to have friends and hold down conversations yet she don’t want to “interact with people or meet someone new.”
Catie Hennessey commented on how she thought social anxiety was perceived differently in the media and by those who actually suffer from it.
Alix empathised saying: “I wish people understood that it (anxiety) isn’t something we choose.”
Others were just glad that the debate was happening as it meant people were talking openly about the issue.
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by those issues, the following organisations may be able to help.