Social Anxiety/Phobia Support – Episode 3: How long is a piece of string?
The answer of course is irrelevant but you do have to wonder how people get by waiting for therapy at the Anxiety Disorders Unit? I mean, I guess it weeds out the people who really want help from the ones who can’t face group therapy.
It took me over 12 months before I was accepted and told of a future date for my group work portion of my Social Anxiety Treatment… Thats right I said months NOT weeks!!! For some people it takes less but the general que length is approximately 12 months at present. Now that either tells you that the service is either underfunded or there are more people coming forward with this disorder… I suggest both.
I hear figures quoted in the media suggesting up to 20% of people will have some form of Social Phobia or Social Anxiety in their lifetime. Thats nothing to sneeze at – that puts us sufferers up there amongst the top 3 most prevalent mental disorders in the world today.
So who’s to blame for the lack of publicity and the lack of public awareness. Well unfortunately it’s us – the sufferers – because we suffer in silence we suffer alone and we dare not explain our condition to anyone for fear of social humiliation. We are in a bind, we need help, there are huge numbers of us, I see people in the streets everyday displaying classic safety behaviours (more on these later…).
Where other community groups, charities and trusts are out jingling their filled to the brim collection jars we sit afraid. Its not just the humiliation of someone seeing you its the added salt in the proverbial wound of people asking you all about what the *@#% is Social Anxiety! Awareness, Awareness, Awareness, it is the key to everything… look at child cancer, look at breast cancer, I dare say none of these organisations ever has a problem… (and NO I am not getting at either of these 2 charities – they are a wonderful group)
OK enough of ranting for now… I am trying to fill this never ending therapy void.