social anxiety with chronic illness
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Dealing with social anxiety with chronic illness

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people.

In this article by Webmd, social anxiety could be triggered when you develop a health condition that draws attention to your appearance or voice.

I referred more to sickle cell disorder and people living with the disorder in this post but it will definitely be helpful even for you.

It is very common among people living with this sickle cell disorder to be younger or smaller than their peers. In some cases, really skinny.

And it is seen as poor growth, a complication very common here in Africa. Sickle cell anemia news has enough explanation for that in this article.

Unfortunately, I grew up as the smallest in my class while in secondary school, and I was bullied (story for another day).

I hated my body, I won’t dare look into the mirror.

So, it was like my health had drawn people’s attention to my appearance. So, I was forced to become quiet and gentle in the public and social situations.

It was tough for me to talk even when I knew I love talking. Many people saw me as shy and introvert when I know that I am just finding it difficult interact with people in public and social situations.

A lot of us are like this, we are forced because of our illness to stay quiet and just observe.

We hate social gatherings but we are a life of the party to our small, very small circle of friends.

Tips to help you deal with social anxiety

Join a support group

The advantages of joining a support group is so enormous. Seeing people that can relate with your illness and pain is therapeutic.

Some of us are not really shy instead we just need a time to be comfortable with strangers that won’t judge us by appearance or illness.

These are the people that would help you find your voice again, make you comfortable around them.

Love yourself

Loving yourself would help you accept your body, and everything that is flaw.

Always remember that everyone has a flaw, love yours.

Practice breathing

This one has helped me so much, especially when I have to speak at events.

Deep breathing helps us relax and get more comfortable.

Breathe in with your nose and make sure to fill your lungs, focus on your belly expanding and then slowly release the breath through your mouth.

It has helped me get more comfortable countless times.

Face your fears

Facing your fears can help you beat social anxiety. The first time I spoke at an event as a speaker, I almost collapsed but when I was done it wasn’t so harmful.

I read in a book what Jamie Foxx recommended for facing your fear.

Whenever you feel that fear of something, ask yourself what is on the other side of fear? Nothing.

Truly, there is nothing on the other side. Face your fear, whatever it is.

Get healthier

For someone living with sickle cell, you need to eat really good food, exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.

Open up

There are different ways you can be open about your illness or anxiety. I began with writing, you can begin with talking about it with someone close or drawing.

Opening up can really help in dealing with social anxiety, as it will make you get more comfortable.

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Conclusion

Social anxiety is really common among people living with a chronic illness or two.

It is tough dealing with it but it is possible to beat, I’m on a journey to beating, and I want you to begin fighting yours too.

Tips to help you deal with social anxiety

Love yourself
Practice breathing
Face your fears
Get healthier
Open up

Please feel free to share to create awareness on mental health and also drop your thought on social anxiety below.

Deal with social anxiety with sickle cell disorder

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