Shyness or anxiety?

Where is it correct to draw the line? I've always wondered if shyness is somewhere on the spectrum of anxiety, but I'm not a psychologist so I'm not sure of the full answer. I've always found it strange that different people can be shy because of different things. I have often heard that actors and actresses are shy when off stage, but are in their element on stage. This is definitely something I cannot relate to! My earliest memory of my shyness is when I was made to be Mary in the infant school play, with the teachers hoping that it would improve my confidence - it certainly didn't! I guess I have always been a shy person as I've hated being the centre of attention, never really put my hand up in class and hated being on stage, but I wonder whether this was anxiety all along. Perhaps I had been suffering from anxiety from the age of five, but there's not much that can tell this is the case. I suppose it almost seems like over the years, my shyness developed into an anxiety disorder with panic attacks and how disabling it became and I think this is where the line is drawn; when it becomes that debilitating. When my anxiety was at its worst, I couldn't do anything. But as it improved I began to learn situations that I was more comfortable in, almost like the situations where my shyness affected me less. I think it's possible to say that there is a connection, but I certainly think that anxiety is the more severe, and I'll just take this opportunity to remind you that if you feel you are suffering with anxiety that is getting in the way or your everyday life, then please seek help. I know it's scary and a lot of the time I hear people saying that they think it's nothing, but even if it is, it's better to sure. If you feel that the opinion the doctor gives you in the first instance isn't right, then I encourage you to go and see someone different until you see someone who understands what is going on with your mind and body. Remember, you know you the best.

I'm curious, has anyone else experienced shyness and anxiety? What are your stories? Leave me a comment below.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx