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Home » Overcoming Social Anxiety: Marielle Cornes (Transcript)

Overcoming Social Anxiety: Marielle Cornes (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Marielle Cornes’ talk titled “Overcoming Social Anxiety” at TEDxYouth@MBJH conference.

Marielle Cornes delivered an inspiring talk titled “Overcoming Social Anxiety,” where she shared her personal journey from struggling with severe social anxiety to finding ways to manage it effectively. She began by recounting her move from Baltimore to Alabama before 7th grade, which significantly exacerbated her social anxiety due to the challenge of making new friends in an unfamiliar environment.

Marielle detailed how her condition made even simple interactions, such as asking a waiter for a napkin, immensely daunting. Through her story, she emphasized the importance of seeking professional help, which was a turning point in her life. She credited therapy and the support of her family for her gradual improvement and ability to adopt strategies to overcome her anxiety.

Marielle also highlighted the broader issue of mental health among teenagers and advocated for greater understanding and support for those suffering from mental illnesses. Her talk concluded with a powerful message about the importance of kindness and support from the community to help individuals like her feel less alone and more capable of facing their challenges.

Listen to the audio version here:


I moved to Mountain Brook from Baltimore the summer before 7th grade. Before I moved, I went to a small private school with about 50 people in my grade. You would think that going to such a small school would make it easier to make friends, but this was not the case. In fact, it took me from kindergarten to 6th grade at my previous school to really get a close group of friends.

After 6 years, I finally got a group that I liked, and all was well, when the worst thing happened. My parents broke the news to me that we were moving to Alabama. This crushed me. What if it took me another 6 years to make friends?

Now, I didn’t know it at the time, but there is a reason I struggled to make friends. I suffer from social anxiety. This means that for me, talking to people and making friends, while many times simple and easy, terrifies me. When I was younger, I couldn’t ask a waiter for a napkin.

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