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ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: My Life with Social Anxiety Disorder by Daniela Grazia

ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: My Life with Social Anxiety Disorder

by Daniela Grazia

178 pages
Detailed account of the author's lifetime struggle with Social Anxiety.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
Many people know what it's like to have an allergy to something. They do what they have to in order to avoid whatever it is they have a bad reaction to. But what if you had a bad reaction to people?

People with Social Anxiety Disorder (S.A.D.) have this bad reaction to people and many are too ashamed or frightened or unable to talk about it. After dealing with S.A.D. for over 30 years alone and in silence, Daniela Grazia decided the only way to get better and to help others, was to openly and in much detail, discuss her life dealing with the disorder.

As with others stricken with S.A.D., her symptoms appeared at a young age - 12. She was overcome with panic and a sense of detachment from those around her, only being comfortable in the company of a few select people. It became a struggle to get through life's daily activities and the events she could partake in became fewer and fewer.

Ashamed and unaware there was a name for it, Grazia began a life of "pretending" to fit in just to survive each day. This effort was exhausting day after day but it was the only way she knew how to be part of this world. Her life when not with her "comfort people" became extremely lonely and depressing. Coupled with feelings she began having towards other women, her self-loathing was tremendous especially because of her traditional and strict Italian, Catholic upbringing. As with others with similar issues, she considered suicide and used alcohol to self-medicate.

Every hour of every day was a struggle. Living this way was pure torture. It wouldn't be until her early to mid twenties she discovered there was a name for how she was feeling. It was a great relief but yet she didn't know where to get help. S.A.D. was not yet widely known or treated. It would be a long time until she disclosed her issues to anyone.

Tired of only "existing" and determined to not waste her life, but also blessed with a wonderful family and a few close friends, Grazia pushed herself to get through each day. Also influenced by people's disregard and ignorance of the disorder, she decided the only way to finally get better and help others was to finally discuss her issues openly.

Finding treatment was in itself disheartening. Treatment centers were few and far between and very expensive. It would take many therapists and attempts at taking various medications before she made any headway.

She takes you to present day as a woman in her 40s still dealing with the effects of Social Anxiety Disorder. She shares what a day at work feels like for someone with S.A.D. By opening up and sharing her story, she hopes to draw more attention and support for those affected by it.

 

 

About the Author
Born as first generation to Italian immigrants in America, Daniela Grazia's life was interrupted when she was overcome by panic and alienation being around other people. She also began struggling with her sexuality. She decided it was time to discuss her struggles in order to heal and to help others.

 

 

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