I found this article by counselling psychologist Bill Ramer: What Social Anxiety Feels Like and Where It Comes From? His focus on family systems as a causative factor for social anxiety is important. It shifts away from the dominant medical and clinical discourses I come across every day when reading about social anxiety towards an understanding of how our environments and relationships play important roles in shaping mental health and responses to perceived threats.
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Many of those who have taken part in the research say they feel unable to participate in the social world due to the fear of shame, guilt, judgement, humiliation and/or embarrassment that particular encounters can generate. Their lives are disrupted by anticipatory anxiety, anxiety manifesting as symptoms (‘body-events’) (Smith 2013), negative self evaluations and avoidance behaviours, discussed by Ramer. Some also recognise their family systems as integral to their social anxiety, these negative…
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