The private and incapacitating social anxiety character implies that it is a very hard disorder to comprehend except if you yourself have it. Even so, knowing more about this particular mental illness and its presentation can definitely help you identify common ground with people, whether or not you have the disorder or other anxiety disorders.
Social anxiety disorder is one of the longstanding mental health conditions
that provoke illogical and intense anxiety and fear in social circumstances, it is also called social phobia. It can lead sufferers to stay away from certain situations like parties or their workplace because of fear of being criticized or humiliated. In fact, it could discourage people from pursuing their ambitions and dreams in life.
Social anxiety, for most people, is a devastating condition. The fact that there will be an inability to engage with people socially, and there is also a dilemma when it comes to proper communication and conversation. It can also become debilitating for those people who only rely on social interaction for a living since this particular mental health issue can provoke immense fear of criticism, neglect, and judgment.
Socially awkward individuals or those who often deal with social anxiety have low self-esteem. They usually avoid eye contact and often sweat and tremble when surrounded by a group of people. In some unfortunate instances, the severity can cause them to palpitate and have episodes of panic attacks because engaging socially or other environmental factors is entirely unbearable and often happens to be impossible. It’s essential to seek professional help to treat depression and anxiety. Addressing these co-occurring conditions can significantly improve an individual’s ability to manage social situations and overall health and well-being.
Some people with social anxiety can still handle their daily lives accordingly. They limit their peers to a small group and avoid the crowd as much as possible. They try to avoid making longer conversations and frequently stick with a “yes or no” answer. That is because they want to avoid situations that would make them feel embarrassed and foolish. In some instances, they only allow a specific number of people at a time so they would not get overwhelmed with lots of information.
The disorder may be specific or general. Individuals with generalized social anxiety are not comfortable in almost every social situation, from presenting to lining up in a supermarket. Those with more specific social anxieties, on the other hand, might get tense only in specific circumstances, like when sending an email or making a call.
Unlike regular introversion or just shyness, SAD prevents a person from performing his daily routine activities. It prevents him from doing things he loves doing. It’s occasionally associated with reduced performance in school or work because it’s difficult to join in at the best of his capacity when he’s always concerned about others’ criticism.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s a fact that social phobia negatively affects an individual’s quality of life if it’s left unmanaged. Notwithstanding its extreme character, though, SAD is not as rare as we often think. SAD impacts almost 7% of the population in America, about 15 million adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Overcome Social Anxiety?
To try to overcome social anxiety on your own, here are some tips:
- Learn to do progressive muscle relaxation exercises to calm yourself.
- Practice controlled breathing. Anxiety may cause bodily changes that may lead to discomfort.
- Don’t focus too much on yourself.
- Challenge your negative thinking.
- Start with small steps.
What Is The Best Cure For Social Anxiety?
SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and a certain SNRI are the two best medication choices for generalized social anxiety disorder. This is back by over 20 randomized controlled studies using these medications.
Can It Go Away?
For some, their social anxiety improves as they grow older. However, for a lot of people, treating the disorder doesn’t disappear by itself without a treatment plan. It is vital to seek help if you are experiencing social anxiety disorder symptoms or physical symptoms, as there are treatments that can definitely help you deal with mental disorders.
What Is The Root Cause?
Individuals with a hyperactive amygdala may have an increased fear response, which causes a rise in anxiety symptoms during social situations. Social anxiety can also be a learned behavior, or some develop social anxiety disorder following a frustrating or embarrassing social event.
What Does It Feel Like?
When there is a need to perform in front of a large audience, individuals with social anxiety disorder usually blush, tremble, sweat all over their bodies, and their heart races. They also tend to feel sick to their stomach and feel dizzy with intense fear. Their posture becomes rigid; they speak with an overly low voice and don’t make eye contact.
Does It Make You Cry?
Some known behavioral and personality features seen in kids with social anxiety include tantrums, severe shyness, crying, clinging to people close to them, fear or utter silence in new environments or with new people, and refusal to speak in front of others.
Can You Self-Diagnose?
You will most probably have an idea if you have social anxiety if you feel very tense and nervous in front of others, or when you are about to give a speech. You worry about your speech weeks or even months before the event, and you don’t get enough sleep because you are anxious. You experience severe anxiety disorder symptoms during an event that you think is scary, and you often present with shortness of breath, trembling, or a fast heartbeat.
What Are The 3 Symptoms?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), three key symptoms of social anxiety are intense fear, negative thoughts, and being self-conscious in front of other people. There are also physical symptoms like a fast heart rate, feeling of being dizzy or lightheaded with sweating, or hot flashes. It is best to reach out to a mental health professional as soon as you notice these symptoms to treat social anxiety disorder as soon as possible using therapy like behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, or whichever suits best for you.
How Can I Reduce My Social Disorder?
What Triggers Social Disorder?
Sadly, most people who are developing social anxiety disorder start young. Those children who experience negative treatment like bullying, teasing, ridiculing, rejection, or humiliation will grow up to be adults with poor social skills and a very high chance of significant anxiety because of these environmental factors. Other social situations that could trigger social anxiety are those that involve meeting new people, engaging in small talk with eye contact, public speaking, being the center of attention with other family members, and those scenarios that involve the same exposure to other people.
How Do You Know If You Have Disorder?
Am I Shy Or Socially Anxious?
Even though the symptoms of extreme shyness and social anxiety are similar to each other, the main difference would be the intensity of fear and anxiety. If you are experiencing shyness, it shouldn’t feel as intense and debilitating. Social anxiety disorder treated lightly on the other hand could be more dangerous and could lead to other psychiatric disorders or mental health disorders.
People suffering from social anxiety could also develop detrimental ways of managing their discomfort. A lot of them use alcohol or drugs to stay calm around other people. In fact, about 20% of individuals who have social anxiety also develop alcohol dependence or substance abuse. While drug use or drinking can instantly improve significant anxiety symptoms, they could worsen over time.
Like every mental health disorder, anxiety presents differently in various types of people. Some have very extreme symptoms, while others might only observe their anxiety worsen from time to time. It is not possible at all to make far-reaching generalizations about those with social anxiety. But it is fair to conclude that living with social anxiety often leaves you exhausted and so alone.
A person who lives with social anxiety feels like he is never free from terror and criticism. It feels like he is often at the center of the stage, destined to frustrate and dissatisfy. For those going through all this, no social interaction ever goes effortlessly enough to offer a break from constant worry and self-criticism.
For instance, this is a picture of someone with social anxiety disorder. Looking at his phone and trying his best to dial a certain number. Being concerned about inconveniencing a sales lady by grabbing too many products. Driving to an event and then turning around. Informing a colleague that he’s sick to evade a presentation. Fixating over a moment when he said something and wonders if his partner is only with him because she pities him. And that’s only the beginning.
Not everybody comprehends how much social anxiety disorder really impacts people, but support and treatment are progressively accessible. The most efficient treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. CBT assists individuals in changing their negative thought patterns and learn new behavioral patterns in a secure environment. Doing this with a qualified mental health professional and experienced therapist can help socially anxious individuals start their journey to overcome their anxieties.
If you have a social anxiety disorder or other anxiety disorders, seek the assistance of a doctor or mental health professional. While it might never entirely disappear, by treating the anxiety disorder, you can considerably reduce your symptoms and stop it from keeping you detached from the real world.
And though you may not have experienced social phobia, knowing more about it tremendously helps you understand people with social anxiety. Next time you talk to a socially anxious friend, don’t forget how they could be feeling.
It is essential to understand that social phobia or social anxiety is not something people only create to avoid social situations. It is a condition that some people suffer from. Since it relates to social interaction, some individuals don’t know more about it, though it is something that people can easily get rid of. Unfortunately, for those struggling with mental health issues, it is not a thing they can shrug off or cure just by spending a lot of time with people. The anxiety symptoms will not go away just by forcing themselves to get surrounded or join the crowd. It requires more intensive emotional and mental assistance to manage better.