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Paperback What You Must Think of Me: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Social Anxiety Disorder Book

ISBN: 0195313038

ISBN13: 9780195313031

What You Must Think of Me: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Social Anxiety Disorder

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

We've all felt occasional pangs of shyness and self-consciousness, but for the 15 million Americans with social anxiety disorder, the fear of being scrutinized and criticized can reach disabling proportions. Such was the case for Emily Ford, who shares her firsthand experiences in these pages.Emily's true story of fear, struggle, and ultimate triumph is sure to resonate with other socially anxious teenagers and young adults. Emily's frank, often witty,...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Empathy and Advice

A few years ago I ended up dropping out of high school because I became so incredibly overwhelmed after a couple of years of medication and doctors appointments for what was thought to be just depression. Looking back, I remember how I couldn't eat breakfast because my anxiety unsettled my stomach too much. How I use to pretend I was sick rather often so I didn't have to face my teachers after not completing my homework and have my peers think I was stupid. I can still wonder around store too afraid to ask for help or dread making a phone call for hours before I actually do it. I didn't realize until much later my depression was caused by my anxiety. In this book, I think many young adults are given the few things they absolutely need--understanding and answers. The author bravely shares her difficult journey offering empathy and comfort which can be difficult to find in school and even at home. The small personal exercises and guidance towards the road to better living are very helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone who felt like they needed a better understanding of social anxiety (whether they are someone suffering from it or someone seeking to learn more,) its been helpful for me.

Adjunct to therapy

As a psychotherapist I treat young clients with social anxiety. I always recommend they get this book for personal use and as a 'tool' for use in their therapy. Each client reports they have found it very helpful indeed and I recently had a parent tell me how much it helped her better understand what her child is going through. I recommend this book as a valuable tool for both professional counselors and for anyone wanting to overcome social anxiety.

A rare glimpse into the tortured world of a young person struggling with social anxiety disorder

XXXXX "As a child, Emily was incomparable, unusual, even precocious. At age four she was writing little poems and stories, enjoying music, art, and a myriad of creative pastimes. The breadth of her imagination along with her joie de vivre was a charming combination. Then in her teens, Emily became increasingly self-conscious. Immediate post-college days marked the beginning of her deep depression...During this time she frequently slept by day and was up all night...Emily withdrew socially; personal reactions became rare. Anxiety plagued her to the point of refusing to talk on the phone...Her eating habits became bizarre..." The above is part of a letter written by the mother of the main author of this fascinating book, Emily Ford (with professor of clinical psychology, Dr. Michael Liebowitz and freelance health & psychology writer Linda Andrews). This book in a nutshell has Ford sharing her personal struggle with the serious yet treatable disorder called social anxiety disorder (SAD), also called social phobia. She takes the reader along on her incredible and courageous journey of successfully coping with this disorder, while providing useful information, help, and hope to others also suffering from it (about 15 million Americans suffer from SAD), as well as to family members and friends who want to help. It is also an excellent book for those like me (one of my degrees is a psychology degree) who want to understand this disorder from the perspective of a person who has been challenged by it. What is social anxiety disorder (SAD)? It is an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a vague, unpleasant, emotional state with qualities of apprehension, dread, distress, and uneasiness. An anxiety disorder is a cover term for a variety of maladaptive syndromes which have severe anxiety as the dominant disturbance. SAD is "an anxiety disorder characterized by marked fear in social situations that involve being around unfamiliar people or the possibility of scrutiny by others." (Note that SAD is "substantially different" from shyness.) Ford's chronicling of coping with SAD is in a word: superb. She tells her story with insight and warmth. A major highlight of this book is that key points from the main narrative are isolated (in handwritten script), thus allowing the reader to have important information at his/her fingertips. To give the reader a "feel" for the book, I will give one example of these key points from each section (preface and chapters) of the book: Preface: "The bravest thing I've ever done was to reach out and actively seek the assistance I desperately wanted and knew I needed." (1) "I believed everyone around me was exchanging subtle signs and singles, conveying to one another that for any of a number of reasons, I was out of place." (2) "Unless I knew I was going to be very good at something, I didn't do it at all." (3) "Allowed to grow freely, untested by real-world experiences, my fears quickly mushroomed out of control." (4
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