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YouTube star prompts conversation about social anxieties

By Paul HarrisonBBC UGC and Social News

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.

Skip Twitter post by @jessiepaege

social anxiety is not

“omggg I love netflix and I hate everyone”

its

– longing to go to social situations that are easy for other people
– wanting to use your voice, but feeling stifled
– feeling trapped in your thoughts

and so much more

— Jessie Paege (@jessiepaege) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @jessiepaege

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".

Skip Twitter post by @EmmySheetz

Anxiety is staying up till four in the morning thinking about how situations could have differed, had you just changed one thing. Anxiety is falling down the rabbit hole of endless "what ifs" and scenarios for all the bad things that *could* happen.

— Morgan Elaine (@EmmySheetz) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @EmmySheetz

Others talked about preferring to communicate via text rather than in person, or constantly replaying conversations in their heads.

Skip Twitter post by @VampOfThRose

Phone calls give me anxiety and when I ask people to text me, please, they don't respect my request. If I have to call out to order food, or address important business, I have to plan ahead for what I'm going to say because I have anxiety about that as well.

💜LiVanSinA💀L.V.S. (@VampOfThRose) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post by @VampOfThRose

Skip Twitter post by @CoraM89480858

And also replaying what you say to people in your head and thinking of ways you should've said it differently, thinking that everyone is always looking at you and talking about you,wanting to not feel inferior to other people.

— Kokobops (@CoraM89480858) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post by @CoraM89480858

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.

Skip Twitter post by @ak_infinityy

exactly, it's not as easy as "then stop being anxious because you're going to be fine" because you know you're not going to be fine

— ana (@ak_infinityy) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @ak_infinityy

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 wants to have friends and hold down conversations yet she doesn't want to "interact with people or meet someone new."

Skip Twitter post by @tylerssweater

And
-scared to talk to normal people like your friends or family
-constantly feeling like youre going to say the wrong thing
-and sometimes not answering the phone even tho you want to

— wil (@tylerssweater) April 9, 2018

Catie Hennessey commented on how she thought social anxiety was perceived differently in the media and by those who actually suffer from it.

Skip Twitter post by @catiemolly

social anxiety in media: "I'm just so painfully shy, it's adorable"
actual people with social anxiety: "I can't really enjoy myself in this social situation because I am literally terrified of monopolizing the conversation or saying the wrong thing" https://t.co/wzjc5LA8yi

— Catie Hennessey (@catiemolly) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post by @catiemolly

Alix empathised saying: "I wish people understood that it (anxiety) isn't something we choose."

Skip Twitter post by @HumbleVeganDad

Mine stems from an being not confident in my ability. Makes me avoid work tasks and cut short awkward friends meet ups if the conversation starts to run dry. Makes me feel really ill.

— Vegan Dad With Beard Ⓥ (@HumbleVeganDad) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post by @HumbleVeganDad

Skip Twitter post 2 by @jessiepaege

just like

– your leg can break
– you can catch a cold
– you can get the flu

your brain can need also need healing. Mental health treatment is important.

— Jessie Paege (@jessiepaege) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post 2 by @jessiepaege

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by these issues, the following organisations may be able to help.

Original Article

BBC

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