What Is Social Anxiety Disorder And How to Deal With It
Social anxiety (formerly termed “social phobia”).
This is a condition which causes fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by others. People who have this condition feel incompetent, weak, self-conscious, embarrassed or depressed. If a person is unreasonably anxious in social situations but behaves normally when they are alone, they might be suffering from “social anxiety.” It’s a typical problem that usually appears during the teenage years. Some people, get better when they become older. Unfortunately, most of the people who suffer from it need professional help. It’s a destructive and traumatic disorder and has a significant influence on the quality of life.
There are two major types of it: specific social anxiety or generalized social anxiety.
Specific and Generalized Social Anxieties.
Specific social anxiety would be the panic of talking in front of groups only. Men and women who suffer from generalized social anxiety, however, feel worried, anxious and upset in almost every social situation. It is much more often for people with social anxiety to have a generalized type of this condition. If anxiety, depression, doubt, anticipatory stress discomfort, feelings of weakness, and self-blame are involved across most life situations, a generalized form of social anxiety is at work.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.
People with social anxiety disorder usually feel significant emotional discomfort in the following situations:
– In cases when they meet people in authority.
– If they need to go around a room/a table in a circle while at the same time having to tell something to someone
– Interpersonal relationships, no matter friendships or romantic
– In situations when they are center of attention
– When someone watches them while they are doing something
– Most social contacts, especially with strangers
– If someone harasses or criticizes them
– When they are introduced to other people
– And this list is undtoubtedly not a full record of symptoms.
Many different feelings have been linked with social anxiety also.
The physiological signs that reveal social anxiety could involve racing heart, sweating, turning red or blushing. Other symptoms are deep fear, trembling, dry throat and mouth, swallowing with difficulty, and muscle spasms, especially in the face and neck zone. What is more, many people affected by social anxiety have other mental health problems, such as generalized anxiety disorder, depression or body dysmorphic disorder.
When to get help for this disorder.
If you’re nervous about asking for help, think about talking to someone that you know well and who has experience with mental illness, such as your family doctor. Ask their advice about where to seek treatment. You might also turn to professionals who offer treatment for SAD including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and mental health counselors. Another option is to check at a university, where they offer private or sliding-scale counseling.
The most important steps to overcome social anxiety.
The first step to overcome this disorder is to understand and become aware of the problem. Then you could try cognitive-behavioral therapy. You could also learn about the cognitive methods, strategies, and concepts. You might also participate in social anxiety therapy groups which could help you gradually deal with problems that provoke anxiety in real life. In these groups, specialists use acting and role-play.
Below is a list of some support groups that could help to deal with social anxiety and other anxiety disorders:
- ADAA List of Support Groups
- SAS List of Social Anxiety and Social Phobia Support Groups
- Social Anxiety Support Chat
The most successful ways of treatment.
A primary method of treatment of social anxiety is psychotherapy which involves speaking to a therapist about how your past impacts what happens to you today and the choices you make in the present. Another option is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a therapist that could help identify negative thought models and actions. And could also teach you how to change them. You could also try supported self-help CBT. It involves using an online mental health service, with just occasional help from a therapist. This method has proven to be the most successful. However, sometimes people need to combine different types of treatments to deal with their condition.
Unfortunately, this disorder affects children as well.
It is usually seen in older children and teenagers. Nevertheless, specialists also diagnose it in kids at the age of four. Children with social anxiety have difficulty meeting other children or joining in a group. They are shy or withdrawn and have a limited number of friends. They tend to avoid social situations where they might be the focus of attention or stand out from others. It’s easy not to notice social anxiety. That is because children who have this condition are often quiet and obedient in preschool or school. They might not talk about their worries or concerns.
Have you ever had contact with a person who suffers from social anxiety?
Please, share your experience in the comments.