Quest for the Holy Grail of Social Anxiety


Ever since I learned that social anxiety disorder was a thing, I’ve been in search of the Holy Grail. The instant cure. A magic pill that would get rid of my shyness and make me “normal.”

At first I thought the Holy Grail was prescription medication. For years, while my social anxiety prevented me from seeing a doctor about my social anxiety, I dreamed about the day I could take an antidepressant. Eventually my dream came true. I saw a doctor and was put on an SSRI. When that didn’t quite work, my doctor switched me to an SNRI. I got my hopes up again, but that didn’t quite work, either. I realized prescription drugs weren’t the Holy Grail I was searching for.

Then I got into health and nutrition. I learned how important food is to both your mental and physical health. And I learned about natural supplements that are just as good and possibly even better than prescription drugs. I had a new Holy Grail and I put all of my hopes into the natural supplement basket.

The natural supplements combined with my improved diet definitely helped, but neither was a magic cure to social anxiety. After that, I gave up on my quest for the Holy Grail. I realized it didn’t exist. There is no instant cure. No magic pill you can take to extinguish social anxiety.

I abandoned my quest for the Holy Grail, but I didn’t abandon all hope for a cure. I realized the only true cure for social anxiety is a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (rewiring your brain to change the way you think) and exposure (facing the social situations that you fear). Is it quick? No. Is it easy? No. It’s hard, and it can take a long time… maybe a lifetime. Exposure is the toughest hurdle— I still struggle with it myself— but it probably reaps the greatest reward.

So perhaps, in a way, I did find the Holy Grail of social anxiety. It just wasn’t the big fancy golden chalice that I thought it would be. The Holy Grail is small, old, and fairly simple. Anyway, that’s been my experience. But who knows? Maybe I was just unlucky, and there is a pill out there that will work for you. I doubt it, though. Ultimately, when it comes to treating your social anxiety, you must choose… But choose wisely.

3 thoughts on “Quest for the Holy Grail of Social Anxiety

  1. Pingback: Anti-antidepressants | Tim Barry Jr.

  2. Pingback: Social Anxiety and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith | T.Z. Barry

  3. Pingback: Siddhartha and Social Anxiety | T.Z. Barry

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