In just under 250 characters, Jessie Paege’s tweet on social anxiety dispelled a very common and damaging mental health stigma.
The New Jersey native and YouTuber’s message clearly resonated with the Internet and served as a reminder to not generalise shyness, introversion or occasional social awkwardness with actual social anxiety, which is its own mental health disorder.
Her message read:
social anxiety is not
“omggg I love netflix and I hate everyone”
– 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
According to Beyond Blue, a social anxiety disorder, or social phobia is when “performing in front of others and social situations can lead to intense anxiety.”
While this can affect those suffering from the disorder during everyday, ordinary situations, it can also only relate to specific situations, or situations that exacerbate the person’s specific fear. For example embarrassing yourself in front of your work colleagues or doing something that might result in you being laughed at by your friends.