Read our informative blogs about mental and physical health.

Navigating the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Social Anxiety

By Dr Steven Joseph. MRCPsych MRCGP



In a world that thrives on connection and communication, social anxiety can cast a long and challenging shadow over the lives of those who experience it. Social anxiety disorder, characterized by an overwhelming fear of judgment and negative evaluation in social situations, affects millions of individuals worldwide. In this blog, we will explore the nuances of social anxiety, its impact on daily life, and strategies for overcoming its grip.

Understanding Social Anxiety

Understanding Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is more than just feeling nervous before a social event; it is a persistent and intense fear of social situations. People with social anxiety often worry excessively about being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in social settings. This fear can lead to a range of physical and emotional symptoms, such as trembling, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and a strong desire to avoid social situations altogether.

The Roots of Social Anxiety

Root of Social Anxiety

The origins of social anxiety are complex and multifaceted, often involving a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Genetics may play a role in predisposing individuals to anxiety disorders, while environmental factors such as early life experiences and learned behavior can contribute to the development of social anxiety. Traumatic social experiences or a history of bullying can also leave lasting imprints on an individual's mental well-being.

Impact on Daily Life

Impact on Daily Life

Social anxiety can significantly impact various aspects of daily life. From difficulty making and maintaining friendships to avoiding career opportunities that involve social interaction, the consequences of social anxiety can be pervasive. The fear of judgment and rejection can lead to self-imposed isolation, limiting personal and professional growth.

Breaking the Stigma

Breaking the Stigma

Acknowledging and discussing social anxiety is a crucial step in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. By fostering open conversations and understanding, we can create a supportive environment that encourages individuals to seek help without fear of judgment. Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being, and treating social anxiety is no different from addressing any other health concern.

Strategies for Overcoming Social Anxiety

Strategies for Overcoming

  1. Seek Professional Help: A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can provide guidance and support. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been particularly effective in treating social anxiety by helping individuals change negative thought patterns and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  1. Gradual Exposure: Gradual exposure to social situations can help desensitize individuals to the triggers of their anxiety. Starting with small, manageable steps and progressively challenging oneself can build confidence over time.
  1. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can help manage anxiety symptoms. These practices promote a sense of calm and can be valuable tools in navigating challenging social situations.
  1. Build a Support System: Cultivate a supportive network of friends, family, or support groups who understand and empathize with your experiences. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can alleviate the burden of social anxiety.
  1. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Recognize and challenge negative thoughts that contribute to social anxiety. Replace self-critical thoughts with more realistic and positive ones, fostering a healthier mindset.


Social anxiety is a common and treatable mental health condition that deserves understanding and compassion. By increasing awareness, fostering open conversations, and providing support, we can create a more inclusive society where individuals with social anxiety can thrive. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and everyone deserves the opportunity to break free from the shadows of social anxiety and embrace a more fulfilling life.

Negative Attitudes Toward Infertility

Infertility affects millions of women around the world, yet it remains a taboo and stigmatized topic in society. For those struggling to conceive, the journey can be physically, emotionally,
and financially draining. But in addition to these challenges, infertile women also face the burden of societal judgment and shame. In this blog post, we will delve into the harsh realities and harmful attitudes surrounding infertility, and the impact they have on women who are unable to bear children. It's time to shed light on this important issue and break the silence surrounding the shame of infertility.

Understanding Infertility: The Medical and Emotional Dimensions
Infertility is a complex issue that encompasses both medical and emotional dimensions.
From a medical perspective, infertility refers to the inability to conceive after a year of regular unprotected intercourse. It can be caused by various factors, including hormonal imbalances, ovulation disorders, blocked fallopian tubes, or issues with the reproductive organs. In some cases, infertility can also be attributed to male factors, such as low sperm count or motility.

Emotionally, infertility can take a significant toll on individuals and couples. The longing for a child and the disappointment month after month can lead to feelings of sadness, frustration,
and inadequacy. The constant questioning of one's body and the sense of failure can have a profound impact on mental health. It is not uncommon for those struggling with infertility to
experience anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem.

Understanding the medical and emotional dimensions of infertility is crucial in order to provide the appropriate support and care for those affected. Medical interventions, such as fertility treatments or assisted reproductive technologies, can help individuals overcome certain medical barriers to conception. However, it is equally important to address the emotional aspects by providing counseling, support groups, and resources to help individuals navigate the emotional rollercoaster of infertility.

By recognizing both the medical and emotional dimensions of infertility, we can work towards a more compassionate and understanding society that offers support and empathy to those
facing this challenging journey.

The Societal Expectation of Motherhood
Society has long held a strong expectation that women should become mothers. The idea of motherhood as the ultimate fulfillment of a woman's life has been deeply ingrained in our cultural narrative. From childhood, girls are bombarded with messages about their future roles as mothers, with toys like baby dolls and miniature strollers reinforcing the idea that
their purpose in life is to bear children. This societal expectation of motherhood is pervasive and often leaves little room for women who are unable to conceive.

For those facing infertility, this societal pressure can be incredibly painful. The constant reminder that they are not able to fulfill this expectation can lead to feelings of inadequacy and shame. Women may feel like failures or as though they are not living up to their purpose. Society often views childless women as incomplete or less than others, further deepening the shame associated with infertility.

These harmful societal attitudes not only perpetuate the stigma surrounding infertility but also have a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of women struggling
to conceive. The weight of societal judgment can exacerbate the already challenging emotional journey of infertility, making it even more difficult for women to cope with their

It's important for us as a society to recognize that motherhood is not the sole defining factor of a woman's worth or purpose. We need to challenge the notion that a woman's value is tied
solely to her ability to have children. By embracing a more inclusive and empathetic mindset, we can create a society that values and supports all women, regardless of their ability to
conceive. It's time to redefine societal expectations and shift the focus from motherhood as an obligation to valuing each woman for her unique strengths and contributions.

The Stigmatization of Infertility and Its Impact on Women
Infertility is often accompanied by the harsh reality of societal judgment and shame.
Women facing infertility not only have to deal with the emotional and physical challenges of their journey, but they also carry the burden of society's stigmatization. This stigma surrounding infertility can be incredibly damaging and has a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of women struggling to conceive.

Infertility is often viewed as a personal failure or a flaw in a woman's identity, perpetuating feelings of inadequacy and shame. The pressure to conform to societal expectations of motherhood leaves little room for understanding and empathy for those who are unable to conceive. Women may be made to feel incomplete or as if they are failing in their supposed purpose.

The weight of societal judgment and the fear of being judged can take a toll on the emotional well-being of women facing infertility. It can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and a sense of worthlessness. The constant comparison to other women who have children or the fear of being left out of social circles can exacerbate these feelings.

It is crucial that we challenge these harmful attitudes and strive to create a more compassionate society. We need to shift the focus from defining a woman's worth solely by her ability to have children and instead recognize and celebrate her unique strengths and contributions. By fostering empathy and understanding, we can create a supportive environment that acknowledges the pain of infertility and provides solace to those going through it.

Challenging Stereotypes and Promoting Empathy
Infertility is often accompanied by deeply ingrained societal stereotypes and assumptions that perpetuate shame and isolation. Challenging these stereotypes is essential in order to
promote empathy and understanding towards those struggling with infertility.

One common stereotype is the belief that infertility is solely a female issue. This assumption not only ignores the fact that infertility can also be attributed to male factors, but it also places the blame and burden solely on women. By challenging this stereotype, we can shift the focus to a more inclusive and understanding mindset that recognizes the complexity of infertility and supports both women and men facing these challenges.

Another stereotype that needs to be challenged is the idea that all women should desire and prioritize motherhood above all else. By recognizing and celebrating the diverse paths and aspirations of women, we can create a society that values each individual for their unique strengths and contributions, rather than solely defining their worth by their ability to have children.

Promoting empathy is key to breaking down these stereotypes. By educating ourselves about the challenges and realities of infertility, we can develop a deeper understanding and compassion for those going through it. It's important to listen to the stories and experiences of infertile individuals, validate their emotions, and offer support without judgment.

Together, by challenging stereotypes and promoting empathy, we can create a more compassionate society that recognizes and supports all women, regardless of their ability to conceive.

Moving Towards a More Compassionate Society
In order to move towards a more compassionate society, it is essential that we challenge the harmful attitudes and stereotypes surrounding infertility.

Promoting empathy is key to breaking down these stereotypes. By educating ourselves about the challenges and realities of infertility, we can develop a deeper understanding and compassion for those going through it. It's important to listen to the stories and experiences of infertile individuals, validate their emotions, and offer support without judgment.

Creating a supportive environment is crucial. Infertility support groups, counseling, and resources can provide a safe space for individuals to share their struggles, find comfort, and access the assistance they need. Additionally, employers can implement family-building benefits that support employees going through infertility treatments, acknowledging the financial strain it can cause.

We also need to advocate for comprehensive sex education that covers reproductive health and fertility awareness. By increasing awareness and understanding about infertility, we can dispel myths, reduce stigma, and foster empathy in future generations.

It's time to embrace a more inclusive mindset that values and supports all women, regardless of their ability to conceive. Let's break the stigma surrounding infertility and create a more compassionate and understanding society where every woman's journey is acknowledged and celebrated.

If you are struggling to conceive, we encourage you to book an initial consultation with our female reproductive health expert, Dr Marie.

Tel/Whatsapp: +34 699 55 6326



5 Simple Ways to Support Someone with C-PTSD


C-PTSD, or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health condition that can greatly impact an individual's life. It is caused by exposure to repeated traumatic events and can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental and emotional well-being. If you know someone who is struggling with C-PTSD, it can be challenging to know how to support them. In this blog post, we will discuss five simple ways to help someone with C-PTSD, so you can be a source of comfort and understanding for your loved one.

1) Understanding C-PTSD: Causes and Symptoms

C-PTSD, or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health condition that can be quite challenging to understand. To provide the necessary support for someone with C-PTSD, it is essential to have a basic understanding of the causes and symptoms associated with this condition.

The causes of C-PTSD are often linked to repeated exposure to traumatic events, such as ongoing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, or violence. These experiences can occur in childhood or adulthood, and they can have a profound impact on a person's mental and emotional well-being.

The symptoms of C-PTSD can vary from person to person but generally include a range of physical, emotional, and cognitive manifestations. Physical symptoms may include chronic pain, headaches, or gastrointestinal issues. Emotional symptoms may include depression, anxiety, or intense feelings of guilt or shame. Cognitive symptoms can manifest as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, or intrusive thoughts related to the traumatic events.

It is important to note that every individual's experience with C-PTSD is unique, and not everyone will exhibit the same symptoms. If you suspect someone you know may be struggling with C-PTSD, it is best to approach the topic with empathy and compassion.

Consider reaching out to a mental health professional, such as Dr. Steven Joseph at English Doctor Barcelona, who specializes in trauma-related disorders and can provide a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.

By gaining a better understanding of the causes and symptoms of C-PTSD, you can better support and empathize with your loved one who is facing this challenging condition.

2) Establishing a Supportive Environment for Someone with C-PTSD

Creating a supportive environment is crucial when helping someone with C-PTSD navigate their healing journey. Here are some tips on how to establish such an environment:

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about C-PTSD and its effects. The more you understand, the better equipped you will be to offer support.
  • Be Patient and Understanding: Healing from C-PTSD takes time. It's important to be patient and understanding with your loved one. Avoid pressuring them or setting unrealistic expectations. Allow them to open up at their own pace, and listen attentively without judgment.
  • Create a Safe Space: Establish a safe and comfortable space for open communication. Make sure your loved one knows they can trust you and confide in you without fear of judgement or retribution. Encourage them to express their emotions and experiences without interruption.
  • Respect Boundaries: People with C-PTSD may have specific triggers or boundaries that are necessary for their well-being. Respect these boundaries and avoid pushing them beyond what they can handle. By doing so, you create an environment that fosters trust and safety.
  • Offer Practical Support: Practical support can go a long way in establishing a supportive environment. This can include helping with daily tasks, providing transport to therapy appointments, or assisting with finding mental health resources. Your presence and willingness to help can make a significant difference in their healing journey.

Remember, supporting someone with C-PTSD requires patience, empathy, and understanding. By creating a supportive environment, you can provide your loved one with the space they need to heal and thrive.

3) Effective Communication Strategies for Dealing with C-PTSD

When it comes to supporting someone with C-PTSD, effective communication is key. It's important to approach conversations with empathy, understanding, and sensitivity. Here are some strategies to help you communicate effectively with your loved one who is dealing with C-PTSD:

  • Active Listening: Take the time to actively listen to your loved one without interruption or judgment. Let them express their thoughts and feelings at their own pace, and validate their experiences. This can help them feel heard and understood.
  • Use Non-Judgemental Language: Be mindful of the words you use and the tone you adopt when speaking to someone with C-PTSD. Avoid blame or criticism, as it can further traumatize them. Instead, use gentle and non-judgemental language to create a safe space for open dialogue.
  • Respect Their Triggers: People with C-PTSD may have triggers that can evoke distressing emotions or memories. Respect their triggers by avoiding certain topics or situations that may cause them harm. This shows that you are considerate of their well-being and can help prevent re-traumatisation.
  • Be Patient and Understanding: Remember that healing from C-PTSD takes time. Be patient and understanding when communicating with your loved one. Avoid rushing or pressuring them to share more than they are comfortable with. Give them the space to process their emotions at their own pace.
  • Encourage Self-Expression: Encourage your loved one to express their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them. This can include writing in a journal, creating art, or engaging in therapy. By validating their self-expression, you are supporting their healing process.

By using these effective communication strategies, you can foster a sense of trust and understanding in your relationship with someone with C-PTSD. Remember, professional help from experts like Dr. Steven Joseph at English Doctor Barcelona can provide additional guidance on effective communication strategies for dealing with C-PTSD.

4) Providing Emotional Support and Encouragement

Supporting someone with C-PTSD requires not only understanding and patience but also providing emotional support and encouragement. It is important to create a safe space where your loved one feels comfortable expressing their emotions and experiences. Here are some ways to provide emotional support and encouragement to someone with C-PTSD:

  • Validate their Feelings: Let your loved one know that their feelings are valid and that you believe them. Offer reassurance and understanding, even if you may not fully understand their experiences. This validation can help them feel heard and validated.
  • Be Empathetic: Show empathy by putting yourself in their shoes and imagining what they may be going through. Avoid dismissing their emotions or telling them to "get over it." Instead, offer compassion and understanding for their struggles.
  • Offer Encouragement: Remind your loved one that healing is possible and that you believe in their ability to overcome their trauma. Encourage them to seek professional help, such as the expertise of Dr. Steven Joseph, a specialist in trauma-related disorders at English Doctor Barcelona, who can provide effective treatment and support.
  • Be a Supportive Listener: Sometimes, all your loved one needs is a listening ear. Be there for them without judgment or interruption. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and experiences and assure them that you are there to support them through their healing journey.
  • Celebrate Small Victories: Recognise and celebrate their progress, no matter how small it may seem. Acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments, as this can boost their confidence and motivation.

Remember, providing emotional support and encouragement requires consistent effort and understanding. By being there for your loved one, you can help them feel supported and motivated as they navigate their journey towards healing and recovery.

5) The Role of Professional Help and Treatment in Managing C-PTSD

Seeking professional help and treatment is crucial in effectively managing C-PTSD. Whilst offering support as a friend or loved one is essential, the expertise of a mental health professional like Dr. Steven Joseph, a specialist in trauma-related disorders at the English Doctor Barcelona, is invaluable in providing comprehensive care.

Dr. Steven Joseph can offer a thorough evaluation and diagnosis of C-PTSD, ensuring that the individual receives the appropriate treatment plan tailored to their unique needs. This may include various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), and/or medication management if necessary.

Professional help can provide a safe space for individuals with C-PTSD to explore and process their trauma in a supportive and structured environment. Therapists like Dr. Steven Joseph can help individuals develop coping mechanisms, manage symptoms, and work toward healing and recovery.

In addition to therapy, professional help can also offer resources and guidance on self-care practices, stress management techniques, and support networks. By engaging with a mental health professional, individuals with C-PTSD can access the tools and support they need to navigate their healing journey.

Remember, whilst providing support as a loved one is essential, it is equally important to encourage individuals with C-PTSD to seek professional help for a comprehensive and effective treatment plan. Dr. Steven Joseph and mental health professionals like him can play a vital role in helping individuals with C-PTSD manage their symptoms and work towards healing and improved well-being.

To book an on-site or virtual appointment with Dr Steven Joseph, drop an email to the clinic:

Tel/Whatsapp: +34 699 55 6326

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5 Reasons to visit your GP before you decide to fall Pregnant

Pregnancy is a journey that requires careful planning and attention. If you are considering falling pregnant, seeing a doctor for a check-up should be one of the top items on your to-do list. A preconception check-up is important because it helps you identify any potential health concerns that could affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. When you see a doctor for a preconception check-up, they will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and run some tests.

Some of the key areas that will be covered during the check-up include your reproductive health, immunization status, medical conditions, medication use, and lifestyle habits. Here are some reasons why it’s important to see a doctor for a preconception check-up before you fall pregnant:

1. Identify potential health risks – Your doctor can identify any potential health concerns that may affect your pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid issues.

2. Optimize your health – A preconception check-up helps you optimize your health by addressing any existing health issues or adopting healthy lifestyle habits that promote a healthy pregnancy.

3. Address medication concerns – If you are taking any medication, your doctor can help you determine if it’s safe to continue taking it during pregnancy or suggest alternative treatments.

4. Discuss family planning – A preconception check-up provides an opportunity to discuss your family planning goals, including how long you plan to wait before trying to conceive, how many children you want, and any other factors that may impact your decision to have children.

5. Improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy – By addressing any potential health concerns before you fall pregnant, you increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

You also have the option to get a Full Genome Sequence done to check for any potential genetic problems that you and your partner may pass on to your children.

Knowledge is Power!

To book your Preconception appointment with Dr Marie,

click on the link below:


contact our clinic:

Tel: +34 699 55 6326


Why Narcissists Target you with Abuse

By Amour Setter

As the subject of Narcissism gains more attention and people become more aware of the damage of Narcissistic abuse, especially in the workplace, I thought I’d share an article that highlights some of the issues at play that may make you an easy target for Narcissistic abuse.

If you are not familiar with Narcissism and its damaging effects, then please read my other blog

The first thing you need to know is that Narcs (as Narcissists are often referred to) will often go for a “soft” target (aka low-hanging fruit).

So rule number one in avoiding Narc Abuse is to know yourself deeply. Seriously. Start doing some deep introspective work on yourself and identify your weaknesses. If you find yourself being abused a lot, get into counseling or therapy so you can identify what it is about you that attracts the abuse to begin with. Here are 7 reasons why you could be an easy target for Narcissistic abuse:

  1. You give more in your relationships

You have a hard time saying no, often stifling your thoughts or opinions for fear of disturbing the peace, and your thoughts and actions are often with others in mind (not your wants and needs.)

  1. You are a People Pleaser

 You feel compelled to take care of others. You have poor boundaries and often feel taken for granted. You may feel hurt or resentful if you are not appreciated for all that you are doing for others (especially if you feel you are making many sacrifices for others).


  1. You find yourself needing to be needed

Your partner/close friend/family member is struggling in one way or another (addiction, illness, constant drama, etc.) Their need for you makes you feel valued, wanted, and important. 

  1. You are emotionally reactive

Your emotions come to the surface quicker than you have time to think about at times. This leaves you feeling out of control when your emotions have hijacked you.

  1. You need to feel in control

This could be over-controlling emotions, and deciding how you feel rather than tuning into the emotions that are coming up for you. This could also mean trying to control the actions, opinions, or emotions of someone else.

  1. You avoid conflict

You don’t express your thoughts or needs because you are afraid that if you do it will upset other people. You put your values aside to make other people happy. And you set your problems aside to focus on the problems of others.

  1. Low Self-esteem or Low Sense of Self

When your purpose comes solely from pleasing others, it is easy to lose sight of yourself or feel lost. When you put others first you are sending a message to yourself that you are not important or worthy. This can make you dive deeper into the above behaviors.

If you recognize any of the above signs in yourself, get into therapy or counseling as soon as possible. Untreated, you may continue to attract Narc abuse.

At this point, it’s worth mentioning Empaths. The term is very “New Age” and many Codependents can be considered Empaths and share many of the same traits. According to an article in PsychAlive, “Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.” The article goes on to describe the pros and cons of being an Empath in more detail.

“There are many benefits of being an empath. On the bright side, empaths tend to be excellent friends. They are superb listeners. They consistently show up for friends in times of need. They are big-hearted and generous. Empaths also tend to be highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent.

However, some of the very qualities that make empaths such fantastic friends can be hard on the empaths themselves. Because empaths quite literally feel what their friends are going through, they can become overwhelmed by painful emotions, such as anxiety or anger. Empaths tend to take on the problems of others as their own. It is often difficult for them to set boundaries for themselves and say no, even when too much is being asked of them.”

If you do choose to embrace the empath label, just be aware that, like Codependency, it requires self-reflection and self-work to manage.

It’s worth noting that we teach people how to treat us. If we accept even just a little bit of disrespect, that disrespect can easily grow into abuse.

To steer clear of Narc abuse it is crucially important to maintain healthy boundaries, and practice assertiveness. This includes communicating to people what your boundaries are and when they are crossed. You may often have to do that a few times with the same people until they get it. It’s okay to let people know what behaviors you are not willing to accept

and do remember that communicating your boundaries will make some people very angry. And that’s OK. Managing anyone's feelings about your boundaries is not your job.

If you often feel taken advantage of and abused, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and take responsibility for your behavior that invites the abuse.

We hope this article helped you recognize how you might be unconsciously inviting abuse into your life. You are not alone. There is help out there and you can become stronger and

more assertive with therapy and counseling to the point where you begin to have fewer run-ins with Narcs.

If you’re looking for an empathic therapist who understands Narcissism and the effects of its abuse on your mental and physical health, book an appointment with English Doctor Barcelona's resident mental health specialist, Dr. Steven Joseph (MBBS, MRCGP, MRCPsych). Virtual appointments are also available.

Book your appointment now and begin your healing journey without delay. Email

Whatsapp/Call: +34 699 55 6326