After getting diagnosed with diabetes at the mere age of 9, Aditya* found it difficult to engage with his peers and had significant social anxiety. Now, a 25-year-old had issues with his emotions for a long time that were standing in the way of his goals. He told us that he had struggled with anxiety and depression, affecting him socially. He also had a significant fear of being perceived in a negative manner.
His struggles and his fear made him avoid and miss important events in his life like birthday parties or other special occasions and often turned down invitations that required him to engage in groups. His reluctance to spend time with his friends made him feel like some of his friends were “giving up” on him. In addition, he also felt like he was burdening his friends because of his issues which didn’t let him stand up for himself causing trouble. The intensity of his social anxiety reached its peak as he was unable to find work and his social work was non-existent. He had several fears which all revolved around being embarrassed in front of others.
Along with everything, he also felt like he was depressed and wasn’t interested in his life after he graduated from college. He said he oscillated between not sleeping and sleeping too much along with having a difficult time concentrating on things. Besides a general lack of energy, Aditya* also expressed feelings of “heaviness”, guilt, and worthlessness.
Once he described everything, one of our psychologists psycho-educated him that he was depressed and what social anxiety meant. The therapy process with Aditya* revolved around increasing emotional awareness, increasing his ability to think differently in different situations, identifying where he was avoiding his emotions, and focusing on preventing the same. At first, Aditya* was hesitant about change and the psychologist encouraged him and showed him the advantages of getting better and dealing with his difficulties.
Towards the end of therapy, once he started getting better, Aditya* could notice he went out more with his friends and increased his social interactions, and engaged in activities that he wouldn’t have gone to before. Once he started exposing himself more, his self-confidence and self-worth also improved. He slowly reached his goals in therapy and told us that he felt like a completely different person- someone who is more positive, confident, and assertive during his termination.
(*name changed for anonymity)