My experiences with social anxiety disorder have often resulted in a fair number of awkward moments. Social anxiety, for me, arises in almost every social context, although there are some exceptions. Nevertheless, in an attempt to grasp onto the unreachable heights of social acceptability, during conversation I often begin to overcompensate.
A few months ago, I wrote an article about my experiences navigating small talk at Bowdoin. The tenor of that article was focused on the function of small talk as a mechanism of forming solidarity: Bowdoin students use small talk to commiserate over shared experiences.
I particularly remember a conversation that I had with a college advisor about race during my senior year of high school. Specifically, it was an incident of overt racism that involved the conscious exclusion of a student of color from an event.
Among many things, I often regard my adolescence as a self-discovery of my anxiety. My parents were raised in Ghana, where mental health disorders, specifically social anxiety, are often an unspoken topic. Thus, the country is devoid of any semblance of mental institutionalism.