Question: Dear Luise: I am a 19 year old with a Social Anxiety Disorder, which pretty much means I get really nervous talking to people and being social all together. My problem is that my grandparents and family keep telling me to get a job and start my career but they don’t understand what my disorder is. The main reason I didn’t go to college is because of my disorder. My question is what careers are there out there that don’t require much talking or any at all? T.
Answer: Dear T. Good for you for asking the question and being willing to find out what is available out there. Whether you are comfortable talking or not, you need to see a vocational counselor who works with disabled people. There are ways to study online and there are careers, many involving computers, where you can work at home.
Ppeople with very daunting disorders can lead productive lives…even those who are wheelchair bound and/or blind. Being disabled isn’t something to give in to…it is something to challenge, work around and triumph over.
Talking and interacting socially may be difficult for you but if there were no society, you could not maintain life. Your food supply comes from society, your fire protection and your water. The list is endless and your self-imposed isolation is unrealistic. Learning to interact is a survival technique. It seems to me the to not be a functioning part of what supports you is self-defeating.
I’m not discounting the seriousness of your issue. I’m saying that you are way too young to use it as a basis for not having a life. Each and every one of us can be a valuable and useful member of society…we just need to find our nitch and then make a concerted and sustained effort toward making a contribution. The rewards outweigh the pain. Blessings, Luise