Friday, August 21

Markway & Markway: Painfully Shy

Subtitled How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life, this book provides not only an academic overview of social anxiety, but also offers detailed explanations as to what treatments are available and exactly what they involve.
One of the authors suffers from social anxiety herself and clearly understands just how debilitating this disorder can be. The book contains examples and anecdotes from both her personal experience and professional practice. Its pages offer validation, coping methods and hope to those suffering from social anxiety and a thorough and accurate picture of the disorder for those who have not experienced this extreme form of shyness themselves.
As a self-help book I feel this one has limited value. From my own experience I think anyone in the grip of social anxiety would have a very difficult time applying the techniques supplied in this volume. However, for those who are actively seeking to overcome their social anxiety this book gives hope in the form of examples of people who have successfully done so; provides a starting point for seeking treatment; and to my mind, most importantly, reassures the sufferer that they do have a ‘real’ problem and are not alone in it.
The chapter on recognising the symptoms of social anxiety in children and helping the painfully shy child to cope may be particularly useful to parents-especially those who have lifelong problems with the disorder themselves.
If you just don’t ‘get’ social anxiety this book will help you to understand what it feels like to be exceedingly shy. If you understand only too well, this book gives a good jumping off point in your search for help.-Lynn

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