It’s not a secret that many people suffer from anxiety and depressive disorder, right after an outbreak of vitiligo. Whenever they are around unknown people, the fears of judgment and being scrutinized by others surround them. Result? They start dreading speaking out in public and going to parties. This, in turn, translates into self-pity, low self-esteem, difficulty in finding love and making new friends.
Before you get used to the social anxiety and see it as part of yourself, acknowledge it. What all you need to is talking to someone close to you about your feelings or seeking a few therapy sessions. Read on, as we offer you certain tips to beat social anxiety in vitiligo.
1. Focus on your senses.
This would be the best tip for vitiligo fighters with excessive social anxiety. Whenever you go out, focus on your senses by asking yourself what I am seeing, what am I hearing, what am I smelling and what am I tasting. That’s one of those strategies that are super intuitive, and anybody can do it.
With this little trick, you will become more instinctive and be having much more fun at the moment. You won’t be thinking about who is staring at you; you’ll be much more focused on your observing surroundings through senses.
2. Be comfortable with yourself.
Even if you’re alone, you can still be embarrassed by your appearance. To break this wall between you and your inner self, make a funny voice, sing in the car or dance by yourself. Do some wacky, weird things to be comfortable in your own skin. Once you’re comfortable with yourself (which takes times), you will ready to meet new people socially.
3. Practice deep breathing.
As mentioned many times in different blogs, it always helps to engage in deep breathing if you have vitiligo. Before expecting an anxiety-provoking social situation, practice a quick deep breathing routine. When you are breathing deeply, what is happening around you becomes secondary to you.
4. Use your imagination.
Be aware that social anxiety is harmful for your psychological wellbeing (which affects your vitiligo ultimately). Imagine what happens when you stretch an elastic band too much. Now, imagine stretching the elastic band in relation to anxiety and your health. It will immediately make you realize what harm you have been causing to yourself. Repeat this visualization exercise whenever you feel extremely vulnerable to strange stares and what people whisper about your vitiligo.
4 Take baby steps.
It’s not about straight away throwing yourself in a big party or trying to talk to everybody. It’s about starting to have a conscious, good conversation with a stranger. The easiest way of doing that is to go to the supermarket. Once your shopping is done, go to the woman/man at checkout and chat with her/her a little bit (let’s say 15 seconds). Once you do that, you will notice that being around people wasn’t as difficult as you thought.
6. See a therapist.
Although social anxiety has the potential to impact your quality of life (and ultimately affect the spread of vitiligo), it can be treated through just 12 to 16 therapy sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy. Being able to tame the anxiety will enable you to lessen the psychological burden of living with vitiligo.