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Why is it so damned hard for people to understand the difference between Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness.

My school councilor thinks that I am making up everything that I do so I can get pity from people and pretty much bait them into being my friend, Well, I guess that would make sense if I had even one friend, I have been alone the entire school year I haven't even come close to making a friend and no one understands why they think I just crave attention.

My brother thinks that I'm imagining it because ive been reading about it alot lately, my mom thinks that I'm just shy and that wanting medication is COMPLETELY ridiculous and that I will become a drug addict and its best to just "Go out and talk to people" yeah sounds pretty damned easy, How can you explain to these people the difference between "Oh hes just shy" and wishing I could just die the night before having to go to school.

I really need to know how I can explain the difference between Social Anxiety and shyness because I am going to be seeing a Doctor this Wednesday to try and get medication, And I have a strong feeling hell tell me to just "Go talk to people its not hard" or get mad at me for trying to make up stories for attention.
 

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Well I know exactly what you mean because no one in my family or even my friends ever could understand me either.. They say things like "you need to get out more" or "stop being so shy" as if it were so damn easy.. They don't get it.. They probably don't understand because they are your family and you are used to being around them so you don't seem "shy" to them.. I'm pretty loud at home so my family really just think I'm crazy when I don't act like myself around others... Then there are other people who just assume I'm a snob or arrogant because I don't want to talk to them.. I just can't!!.. I just gave up trying to explain to my family what I go through but I'm not saying you should too. Try to explain it to them and when you go to the doctor, let him know that you have SA and try to explain how you feel and that you tried to explain it to your family but they don't listen.. Or... Idk..
 

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The difference between shyness and social phobia can be likened to the big distinction between, say, heartburn and a cardiac condition. While one can happen every once in a while and its effects tend to evaporate rather quickly, the other is chronic, has serious symptoms that will not just "go away," and requires serious medical attention.

Unlike the temporary uneasiness and embarrassing awkwardness of shyness, social phobia is a very intense and oftentimes debilitating fear of embarrassment or humiliation that can severely disrupt a person's life and can even lead to other serious physical illnesses and mental disorders. By the time it's finally recognized for what it really is and is accurately diagnosed, social phobia has led to at least one other mental disorder in 81% of its victims, with 61% suffering panic disorder and 90% having clinical depression. Many sufferers of social phobia turn to alcohol for the short-term immediate effect drinking can have on diminishing anxiety and, as a result, nearly 75% become alcoholic.
I hope that helps.
 
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