How to Raise Awareness for Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders which affects many people worldwide.


That said, comprehensive understanding of the condition is not that common and the level of suffering, preoccupation and inhibition that people experience with social anxiety often goes unrecognized.


Friends and family also have a role to play trying their best to understand what their loved ones are going though, and spreading recognition of the affliction.

Steps

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    Gain a good understanding of Social Anxiety Disorder yourself. Naturally, if you are the one dealing with this condition, you will already have a personal understanding of the subject. There is information online on the NHS website (if you are in the UK), or on US sites such as The National Institute of Mental Health.
    • There are also the large mental health organisations such as Rethink and Mind that provide advice and support. They also do policy work that influences government in the UK.
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    Be open about the condition. As much as you can, share the factual information you have learned with people who show misunderstanding or ignorance of the condition.
    • Be patient- it can be frustrating and upsetting to come across certain attitudes, but it's unlikely any of us are clued up on every medical condition that exists.
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    Take part in campaigning and fundraising events. Rethink has a Mental Health Awareness week each year; you can currently (as of Spring 2014) download a "Mental Health Anxiety Supporter Kit" which includes information on anxiety, ways to get involved, advice on how to raise awareness and tips on helping those in your community. Mind and Rethink also hold typical fundraising events for their causes such 10k runs, cycle challenges and parachute jumps.
    • They are both also partners in Time To Change, "England's most ambitious campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems."[1] Anxiety UK is a small charity that is always looking for volunteers to help raise their profile and reduce the stigma surrounding anxiety disorders. You can distribute their leaflets and posters in your local community.
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    Learn some more information about Social Anxiety Disorder. Being equipped with some facts can really help as you raise awareness.
    • It often begins in adolescence. Causes are currently unknown, but they are believed to be a combination of factors, with genes possibly playing a role. Social Anxiety interferes with everyday life and can affect work, study, making and maintaining friendships and relationships. In severe cases, it can stop people functioning in life altogether and cause them to become reclusive.
    • It is markedly different from a little shyness or the usual sorts of passing social discomfort experienced by non-sufferers.
    • Although raising awareness for this condition can seem nearly impossible if you suffer from it, there are still ways of doing so.

Article Info

Categories: Social Anxiety | Health Activism