On my Twitter description I said that if anyone would like to be interviewed by myself to get in contact with me and if I felt it was something I am interested in then I would be happy to do it.
The first person who contacted me was an old friend Kam Birdee who was launching her website at the time.
Steve is one of her friends and after seeing Kam’s interview, he decided to come forward also. I am pleased he did because I am very interested in what he is doing.
He used to suffer from Societal Anxiety Disorder. This meant that whenever he was around people an overwhelming fear would come over him and he would either not be able to talk or even worse he would have to run out the room.
I believe there are different levels of intensity depending on exactly what the situation is but you can be sure that even the thought of any form of public speaking would be enough to make sufferers break out into a cold sweat at the very least.
It took Steve a number of years before he could more or less overcome this illness but he has now got to grips with it fairly well. So much so that he now runs the Leading Light website which offers people information about it as well as organising weekly support groups where people get together and help each other.
It can be very difficult for people to deal with mental health problems and part of the difficulty is that unlike a broken leg or whatever, it doesn’t look like the person is ill and so most don’t understand what they are going through. That is why these groups are so beneficial so people can share their experiences in a supportive environment and they are not just given drugs to mask the problem.
In the Interview above Steve discusses how the problem affected him growing up and the steps that led him to forming the website.
Here is Steve being interviewed by Ruby Wax about his work.
Ruby suffered from depression for many years and now, like Steve, takes an active role in helping others. Steve was delighted that after the interview with her, she agreed to come to an event that he organised and through the success of that he gained much confidence to continue organising more support group meeting and social events as well as develop the website and his own personal blog.
It is important to keep a sense of humour regardless of what ailments we may be suffering from and here is a nice photo of Steve showing his fun side.
After our interview Steve asked me if I would like to help running a workshop of some kind which would involve using comedy and humour to which I happily agreed. I’ve no idea if anything will come of it but he has set up a Skype meeting to discuss it with Kam and Joe Hoare (who I interviewed today) also included in the meeting. I’ll keep you informed if anything transpires.
In the meantime, if you feel like you may suffer from Societal Anxiety issues feel free to contact Steve as he is very happy to hear from anyone who may need his support.
Keep up the good work, Buddy!