In a new book, What you must think of me: A firsthand account of one teenager’s experience with social anxiety disorder, 27-year-old Emily Ford recounts her story of suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD) from the time she was a young child. Psychiatrist Michael Liebowitz and freelance science writer Linda Wasmer Andrews co-author this new book and provide expert information on the disorder and treatment for teenagers and anyone else with SAD.
Emily discusses how she developed SAD around the fourth grade when she was separated from close friends at school during new class assignments. Over time she became severely isolated to the point of considering suicide during college. Although Emily still faces fears daily such as talking on the phone and eating in front of others, she now works alongside others in a cubicle – something unthinkable before receiving treatment. Her recommendation? Take little steps at a time. For those suffering from SAD, battling anxiety on a daily basis takes a lot of strength. Congratulate yourself for all of your successes, no matter how small.