Death by…………….. shyness?

George Best is acknowledged as one of the greatest footballers of all time.He died due to problems stemming from alcoholism. However one comment from a former friend and colleague on the radio shortly after his death particularly stuck with me.  He said “shyness killed George.” At first its hard to believe that the man who went out with a former miss world and was the hero to millions was so shy. This comment has not really been taken up by the media much, content to blame everything on drink. However as soon as you start to examine his life you see that he did indeed have a deep shyness that never really left him and he turned to the drink as a way of coping with so much fame and public attention.

 “George never really changed from being the shy person he was when he left Belfast.”

 “And one of the key characteristics for Best for me was his shyness.”

“Best was feeling similarly anxious, but was not so readily able to voice it due to his immense shyness.”

Many people with intense shyness of course turn to drink, I did for insomnia which is a common problem linked with anxiety.Some may take various drugs. Again I have with sleeping pills and allergy tablets. People suffering intense anxiety are much less likely to get a fulfilling job often talking anything they can, less likely to have friends or a support network, a stable relationship, children, less likely to eat healthily and more likely to have other mental health problems like depression.  In short they are much less likely to be happy and much more likely to die earlier so in fact Death by Shyness is in no way an over the top title for this blog.  Shyness itself may not actually always kill you but the side effects can definitely still be lethal over time.This is of course also ignoring the people who actually self harm and commit suicide due to their problems stemming from shyness in which case shyness is a killer although depression is often given as the real reason.

Yet you hardly ever hear any mention of this as an issue in the media. Some people on forums even claim their doctor treated them with contempt when mentioning shyness as a problem and saying they would just grow out of it. Much of the meds are no different than those for depression and even therapy only appears to work for  some people and is hit and miss, many people on anxiety forums still having severe problems well into middle age and later.Despite our modern technology it makes you realise that in other regards human understanding even of ourselves is still in its infancy, Look at how the mentally ill were treated even 25 years ago for instance.Many more shy people will probably die far too young before anything significant happens in the world of mental health, if ever. The only advice for most people with social anxiety is still “Go out and try doing stuff!” In fact that’s pretty much the main concept of CBT therapy.






Author: klodo

I am male,English and have had social anxiety since I started school at 5 years of age. I like photography, walking, wildlife, history and moaning.........CONSTANTLY! Oh you must stop being so negative! Shut up! NOW WITH ADDED DEPRESSION!

2 thoughts on “Death by…………….. shyness?”

  1. Very true. It’s awful to think about how many more people are going to suffer with social anxiety before anything major is done about it. It really saddens me to think about all those people who will feel like an outcast perhaps their entire lives, all the people who will suffer such terrible and relentless bullying simply because they’re quiet and don’t fit in, all the people who will be unable to make friends or to have relationships perhaps for their entire lives because of their anxiety, all the people who will be left all alone and miserable, and all the people who will self-harm or eventually commit suicide because of it. All the pain and loneliness they’ll endure throughout their lives, and all that suffering. And the fact that when they do have the courage to reach out for help, they’ll be told by other people, even medical professionals, that they’re pathetic for not simply getting over it. I wish that other people could understand how serious social anxiety is, and how devastating and life-destroying it can be. I wish that the mental health services weren’t so useless when it comes to social anxiety. I wish that far more research could be done, to improve the treatment of social anxiety. But more than anything, I wish I could take away the immense pain of everyone having to deal with this curse of a disorder.

  2. Yes, i agree with everything you have written Gemma. My own mother went to the doctor several times when at her worst and was given general depression meds and actually told by him. “They probably won’t do any good.” That was the last time she saw him and never went back again. I remember watching a TV talk show only a couple of years back where they were asking “Are shy people vain?” as if they mumbled on purpose to get deliberately get attention. The ignorance of many people beggars belief. They insist you go out to help yourself and when you do force yourself and still act nervous think you are mad or over reacting and dont want to see you again. I thought I might do better on some of the anxiety forums but to be honest find them just as hard. They often make me feel even worse. i wish they were as friendly and non judgemental as they claim to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s