Ritika (15) panics at the thought of talking to strangers or speaking in a big group. At first, she thought it was just a phase but then it became a part of her everyday life. She couldn’t even raise her hand in class to answer a question or go on to the school stage to read the weather report. She shares her diary entry with us.
So I talked to the school counsellor today. I had been thinking about it for a long time and I finally did it. It wasn’t that bad! I actually felt she was quite nice to me.
Also, do watch this video on Disability and Sexuality below. Read the rest of the article below video:
I told her about the incident that happened yesterday when I went out with my friends to this cafe and couldn’t bring myself to order for everyone. It was my party yet I had to push one of my friends to do this – it was so embarrassing. I felt like everyone was judging me.
And yesterday was just the last straw. This anxiety about speaking or interacting with strangers or in public has been living with me for a while now. I can’t bring myself to raise my hand and answer in class even when I know the right answer. I feel like people are always looking at me, secretly judging me behind my back. Something as simple as a phone call from someone outside my immediate circle stresses me out nowadays.
A couple of months ago, our teacher announced an inter-branch debating competition and I wanted to participate in it so badly but the thought of speaking in front of all those people and talking to teachers scared me so much that I didn’t even try.
I’ve read on the internet that these are signs of social anxiety but when I tried to tell my sister about it, she said that I was just overthinking it and creating problems for myself. But it’s not like that. I tried so hard to be normal about it. I even forced myself to participate in a small school event, but when it was my turn to go on the stage, I was panicking so bad I gave myself an actual stomach ache. It’s just so stressful.
It’s not like I like being this way, I just can’t help it. I don’t know what to do. At first, the counsellor thought maybe it was a recent change but I remember being in this state for a while now. I have now stopped participating in school events because of this.
It felt good to feel heard by someone other than myself. My counsellor said I should talk to my parents about it and that she would do some activities with me to help me deal with this better. To be honest, I was dreading talking to her about this, but it really helped to talk to her. Maybe I’ll talk to my parents pretty soon too but I will need some time for that. But for now, I feel better to have taken the first step towards helping myself.
Photo: Shutterstock/paffy/Person in the photo is a model.
To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model and names have been changed.
Would you like to share your feelings with TeenBook? Send us your thoughts in the comments box! Remember, not to put any personal information in the comment box.
Listen to this podcast –