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Personal Story: Living with my social anxiety

Discover personal experiences and strategies for living with social anxiety. Gain insights into the challenges, coping mechanisms, and resources available to navigate social anxiety and improve your mental well-being.

Personal Story: Living with my social anxiety

My mental health journey started at high school. I had social anxiety and often couldn’t say hi to people even if I knew them. There was a lot of painful times during this period of my life that I never shared with anyone and shrugged off.

I knew something had to change. I decided to book a topdeck trip to Europe when I was 19. Everyone I saw who had travelled came back with stories and a confidence that I desperately wanted. So with my social anxiety in check I booked a flight. The experience of realising the world is bigger than your hometown, and the kindness of people I met forever changed me.

It was after uni a few years later when I knew I still had more healing to do. I felt a rush of sadness come up in my body one day and then immediately be pushed down. I was still numbing my emotions. I decided to book my first counselling session. The release I felt during my first session was life changing. I am now convinced every young person would benefit from counselling, regardless how serious you think your issues are.

Today, I still share my own experiences with mental health with my friends regularly. I see them uplifted by my openness. We all just want to be heard. The more I share my stories with others the more I realise that up’s and down’s of life are normal and we really aren’t alone in our pain.

#BeautifulMinds is a series of raw and honest stories from people sharing their lived experience with mental health in New Zealand. Published with permission. We hope these stories capture the diversity of how mental health affects different people and you can be inspired by their journey towards mental wellbeing. Clearhead’s mission is to destigmatise mental health through raising awareness and encouraging people to feel it is ok to seek help early by giving them the tools to do so. Sign up now to use the platform, it is free to do so!

If you like what you read, please do share it. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email us at [email protected]

If you are not in immediate danger but require crisis support:  mentalhealth.org.nz
Suicide Call Back Service
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal. Call 1300 659 467. — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14
, text on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight AEST) or chat online.
Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or email.
Kids Helpline
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free 24/7 confidential and private counseling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 – 25. Call 1800 55 1800.
MensLine Australia
MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online counselling service offering support to Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or organise a video chat.
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24/7 free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the ADF, their partners and families. Call 1800 011 046.
If you are not in immediate danger but require crisis support:  healthdirect.gov.au