US singer Summer Walker cancels gigs due to social anxiety

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Summer Walker is cancelling more than half of her remaining US tour dates because of social anxiety.

She’s announced she will only play nine cities of the 29 that were originally scheduled.

“I’m not going to be able to finish this tour because it doesn’t really coexist with my social anxiety and my introverted personality,” Summer said on Instagram.

“I’m a person, I have feelings. I get tired, I get sad and it’s just a lot.”

She added: “I want to give you all what I can, so I’m going to keep making music and I might do a few shows, but I can’t finish.”

The 23-year-old’s song Come Thru, with Usher, is currently playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra.

‘Wellness and mental health is important’

The singer has performed live shows and festivals in 2019 and says she hopes people “understand and respect” her decision to cancel her remaining tour dates.

She says she wants to continue being “healthy” and told fans that tickets would be refunded.

“I hope that you understand that wellness/mental health is important.”

What is social anxiety?

The NHS defines social anxiety disorder as a “long-lasting and overwhelming fear of social situations”.

“It’s a common problem that usually starts during the teenage years,” it says on its website.

Symptoms of social anxiety include dreading everyday activities such as meeting strangers, speaking with other people, working or even shopping.

People like Summer who have the condition struggle in social situations or at parties and find it difficult doing things when other people are watching.

Symptoms can include feelings of sickness, nervousness, sweating and an increased heartbeat – and people suffering from these are recommended to visit their GP.

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“I’m grateful for every single one of you, and I hope that you understand that wellness/mental health is important,” she wrote

Summer’s tour announcement comes a few days after she addressed criticism for her meet-and-greets while she has been touring.

Some fans complained she wasn’t as affectionate as they’d like.

“For those who’re upset [because] I don’t give hugs… I’m an empath and that transference of energy from that many people each day would literally KILL me,” she said.

“There’s a lot of people out here faking a smile on their face like they got it together but inside actually suffering from some sort of traumatic experience, a loss, depressed, fearful, envious or whatever the case may be BUT I CAN FEEL IT.”

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