Topics: RNZ: Nine To Noon - Radio New Zealand - NZ News, Current.

“You are strong for getting out of bed in the morning when it feels like hell. You are brave for doing things even though they scare you or make you anxious. And you are amazing for trying and holding on no matter how hard life gets.” ― Anonymous

“By simply and profoundly giving love to yourself everyday in every way you are saying to the Universe you are worthy of attaining any dream, vision or goal. Feel worthy of it.” ― Stephen Richards

“There are moments of frustration in life. You must build good relations to support you in these moments. You must also learn to encourage yourself and decide to stay determined in life.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

It had started during my sophomore year of college. For some reason meeting new people had become terrifying. I had developed irrational fears of calling someone by the wrong name, eating in front of people, not speaking quickly enough in friendly conversation, going grocery shopping, talking on the phone, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them. What was wrong with me?

After graduation I was able to get a one-in-a-million internship that I knew would be a make-or-break opportunity in a competitive industry. I also knew that forming positive relationships would be the cornerstone of my ability to succeed, and appearing to be an awkward weirdo would kill any chance of achieving my dream. Though my social anxiety was technically being “managed,” the pharmaceuticals regulating my life would prevent me from being the dynamic, creative person I had to be to succeed.

The day before my internship began, I quit my medication and decided to spend the summer combating my anxiety head-on. I was thousands of miles from home with no friends or support network. I barely had any money. I knew that I might fail miserably, but I owed it to myself to fight it head-on before resigning myself to a mediocre life lived in a medicated haze. These are the techniques I used in the intervening three months:

Hello, Cody I ve got you some really good news! I m pretty and I too suffer from social anxiety disorder. People would always encourage me to join clubs, go out, meet new people but I just knew that this wasn t my thing. So I tried some online dating sites, went out on a couple of unsuccessful dates and as I was getting discouraged and disappointed, I finally met a guy who was worth it. He happened to live in the same area as me but essentially it was the internet that had brought as together! It s still too early to say anything but I feel very happy when I m with him as we have so many things in common - things which I couldn t find in people I met in real life. So, my advice is to always follow your heart and intuition as you and only you know what s best for yourself. Believe and life will go your way at last! There is always hope as long as there is faith!

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorder in the U.S., affecting 18 percent of the adult population. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 15 million men and women in the U.S. The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the "persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing."

Those who are shy, if not socially anxious, tend to experience social situations in a more reserved, tense and uncomfortable manner, especially when meeting new people. It may take longer to open up and share, which can affect one's ability to form close relationships.

Despite the high incidence of anxiety disorders, adults often don't seek treatment until years of suffering with the disorder have passed, if they seek treatment at all. Because anxiety disorders typically start in early adolescents or pre-teen years, it can be hard to recognize anxiety disorders. And anxiety left untreated often leads to developing comorbid disorders , such as depression. People may assume it's normal to feel the type of anxiety they experience, or believe the anxiety is something that can't be treated.

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