About

I’m Raven, a student in my mid-twenties, from Scotland. I’ve had social anxiety disorder for as long as I remember, and also experience episodes of depression. Both have greatly impacted upon my life. This blog documents my struggles with my mental health and my efforts to overcome/ progress with my anxiety.

This blog serves as a place for me to vent and share my thoughts and feelings, and also to give an idea of what it’s like to live with social anxiety disorder and depression. I hope it will also make fellow sufferers feel less alone and possibly educate some people about these issues. I can hopefully share things that have helped and not helped with aspects of either condition.

Feel free to ask me anything about living with social anxiety disorder, depression, anything else I’ve written about on this blog, about myself, or something completely random here.

The Boring/ Jargon-y bit

Diagnoses:

Social Anxiety Disorder (often abbreviated as SA in my blog) – I’ve suffered with this possibly my whole life, but I remember having definite anxiety symptoms from the age of four. It got much worse when I started high school.

Major Depressive Disorder (“depression” in my blog) – Definitely since the age of 14, when I had my first severe episode – possibly milder depression going back to age 12 or 13.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (often abbreviated as SAD in my blog) – probably since the age of 12.

Possible Autism Spectrum Disorder Condition (often abbreviated as ASD, AS, or HFA, or referred to as “autism”, “asperger’s” or “high-functioning autism” in my blog) – inconclusive results from 2 different assessments. I’m still unsure myself. Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point.

15 Responses to About

  1. Kirstie says:

    Hey hun, i also suffered massively from social anxiety all through my 20’s until last year, i’m 35 now, I started reading alot about mindfulness, which basically encourages you to focus on the present moment as often as possible, and the more I practised this the better I got, anyway, just thought i’d share what worked for me with you, chin up xx

    • Gemma says:

      Hi. Thanks for your comment. I briefly tried mindfulness/ meditation before but it didn’t seem to help me, probably because I find it near impossible to quiet my mind/ stay in the present. It is something that I’d like to try again, though, if CBT doesn’t work. I’m glad it helped you.

      • How is CBT working for you? I’ve just started and it seems to be what is giving me the most hope for change. Everything just feels so do-able, and in manageable steps. I hope it works out for you!

      • Gemma says:

        I’m really glad that CBT is helping you. 🙂 It was only mildly helpful for me, though I haven’t done it in quite a while now. I’ve just started IPT (Interpersonal Therapy), and I’m hoping that will help me.

  2. Jim says:

    hey Gemma, I’m pretty much in the same situation. Hope everything works out for you, I’m still trying to figure it out myself

  3. Jeremy says:

    Hi Gemma,

    It’s great to read about your experience with social anxiety. This is a powerful experience for me especially because we’re online and I am geographically very remote (North America). You see, I’ve got similar things to overcome, and coming across your blog partly inspired me to start my own blog about my attempts to become a better communicator. I guess I’m someone that wishes to become more connected with people but has difficulty doing so. I get the sense that you know how that’s like.

    Just wanted to reach out and introduce myself.

    Best wishes,

    Jeremy

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  5. Lindsay says:

    Hi Gemma. I stumbled across your blog after looking up SA. Just to say, you remind me a lot of myself! In the way you write, your dislike of small talk, your rants :). Im curious to know what star sign you are? I’d also like to recommend a book to you. It’s called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. It’s helped me a lot, mostly to understand that the ‘thinking mind’ is not who I am. I think it’s a book that everyone should read, because we all suffer from our ‘egos’. I hope that it helps you too.

    • Gemma says:

      Thanks for reading my blog. 🙂 I’m an Aquarius but I don’t believe in astrology. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll add it to my ever-growing list of books to read once I finish university.

  6. Just read some of your blog having started my own. It’s nice to know that some people feel the same way about some things

  7. Hi Gemma
    I’ve suffered from Social Anxiety for over 35 years and only found out what it was 10 years ago. Just thought I was weird..hehe. I messed up job interviews by chickening out at the last moment, I’ve ran out of meetings when I finally got a job through temping, I’ve turned up to school functions only to leave after 5 minutes, and millions of other ridiculous ways I’ve found to escape social things over the years…. I’m finally doing something I love but now have to run my own shows, make speeches and talk to endless people about what I do. I spend most of the time feeling a fraud and at the end of the day I am exhausted from all the interactions I have. Even though I hate the thought of anyone else wasting their time feeling this way, I am also glad to know there are other people out there.

    • Gemma says:

      Hi Social Phobic Artist. I’m glad that things got better for you and that you’re now doing something you love. I know what you mean, it’s hard to know that other people suffer too but it’s also good to know that we aren’t alone in feeling this way.

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