Social anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand like ice and water. Social anxiety is the water and depression is the ice. You might have the water, but having the ice in it can make things much colder, and if you wait too long then they start to become the same.
But they don’t necessarily have to be together.
There are many causes for social anxiety:
Those are the main causes of social anxiety disorder, and the only ones that matter to the effect of dealing with depression. We can only control two of those causes; Low Self-Esteem and pessimism.
As someone who suffers from social anxiety you can get massively frustrated about your current life situation, I know it happened to me. This is how social anxiety and depression interwine perfectly and it's a hard knot to untie.
You can begin indulging in very negative thought loops that won't help you at all, it's very important that you understand that depression is self-indulged. I was depressed for a very long time and I can tell you, that I have a genetic tendency to get depressed (as my mom sometimes gets depressed), but I firmly believe that what 100% controls depression is your general attitude and outlook in life.
You can’t inject self-esteem to your body and quickly gain it like that, it's something that happens over time. However you can use positive self talk and keep a positive attitude.
Your WORST enemy is pessimism:
Pessimism strengthens the negative side of things and losing hope, you can see how having that view of life would spiral into a very, very negative outlook on life in general.
If you're thinking: “Whoa. I have social anxiety and depression, this sucks, I’m worth nothing. I’m depressed; this is all because of my social anxiety, my life sucks, I’m never going to get out of this.”
Then your mind is doing anything-but helping the situation. As real as it seems to you, it's all self-indulged.
You NEED your thoughts to play on your side.
Recently I was reading through one of those funny image websites, and I noticed a couple of funny images saying "I hate it when I got to bed and start thinking about the day that has passed and feeling bad about it".
This really hit me, I can clearly remember when I used to do this, but at some time (can't remember exactly when) I stopped thinking like this.
I know a lot of people can relate to thinking about how crappy your day has been, your current life situation and you can get even more depressed if that situation has been going on for a long time, but it is possible to get out of this loop.
There will always be reasons to be depressed, your life will never be perfect. Even when you're at your worst you can always keep your sight at the end of the tunnel and keep moving.
The best attitude you can take against those negative thoughts and the negative outlook is NOT to try to shut them off.
If I tell you to NOT think about elephants, what do you think about? Yeah… elephants! (I know I'm using that line from that movie)
But it’s true, you can’t shut down a thought and it gets worse if you try to do it. If you try to not think about a certain thought, then you'll always be thinking about it.
That which you resist persists.
The thought already exists, the best thing you can do is to acknowledge its existence and ignore it - just know that it’s there but CHOOSE to not give relevance to it.
“I’m depressed, I’m feeling the emotion of depression, there’s nothing I can do to immediately get rid of it so I just won’t pay attention to it.”
It won’t disappear right away but the more you keep this attitude towards negative thoughts the less power they have over you and those emotions.
Instead replace them by positive thoughts: And WORK on it, work on your social anxiety and depression but don’t link them together. Depression is temporary and social anxiety can be beaten.
Get rid of those negative thoughts and work on your social anxiety.
What you need is to work on social anxiety + positivism. That will result in a good attitude to get rid of it.
Keep your sight at the end of the tunnel:
Sometimes people get everything they wanted; they are doing pretty good financially, they've travelled the world, they get all the girls they want, everyone loves them, and so on.
What usually happens with people when they get everything they want is that they get depressed.
This is because most people look for happiness externally, once there's nothing else to look for externally you don't know what to do and get depressed.
The happiest and most 'not-depressed' people are usually pretty average people or even poor people, who've found happiness in being a source of good emotions, giving to others and getting to be the person who they want to be.
Remember, dwelling on social anxiety + negative thoughts results in more social anxiety and depression. Keep it positive! Go out and get social!
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