Undoubtedly, you will know the feeling of being uncomfortable or nervous in a social circumstance. While some of you claim yourself when you meet a new person, some may get sweaty before giving a presentation. For most people, public speaking as well as walking into a room filled with strangers is a big deal which is very difficult for them to even think. This is not as simple as it sounds my friend! Do you know that this is actually a disorder? Yes, this condition is termed as a social anxiety disorder. Therefore, if you have it, you don’t need to worry as there is hope. Keep reading to grasp every information about this common condition.
What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder, that is also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder, which results in ultimate fear in a social setting. An individual with this disorder faces numerous troubles including attending social gatherings, meeting new people and talking to people. These people have a fear of being scrutinized or judged by others. Most of the people suffering from this mental disorder feel hopeless to overcome their fears. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over 15 million adults in America suffer social anxiety disorder and its symptoms can start around 13 years old.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
Let’s talk about physical symptoms first. Here are some:
Some psychological symptoms include:
- Intensely worrying about social situations
- Avoiding social situations
- Worrying about an embarrassment
- Worrying that other people noticing your stress and nervousness
- Need alcohol to stand in a social situation
- Missing work or classes due to anxiety
It is alright if you feel anxious sometimes. But when you have a social anxiety disorder, you will always have a fear of being scrutinized by others or even embarrassed in front of them. Well, you will avoid all the following social situations:
- Asking a question
- Job interviews
- Using any public restroom
- Talking to a person on the phone
- Eating in a public spot
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder don’t occur in every situation. A person can have selective or limited anxiety.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder
The real cause of social anxiety disorder is unknown. But many types of research state that this mental disorder is mainly caused by a mix of genetics and environmental factors. Some negative incidents may also result in this disorder, such as sexual abuse, family conflict or bullying. Physical abnormalities like a serotonin imbalance can also contribute to social phobia.
Treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder
You can find many treatments for social anxiety disorder. But treatment results vary from person to person. There are people who only require one type of treatment, while others need more than one treatment.
Here are some of the options to treat your social phobia:
· Exposure Therapy
This therapy will help you to gradually deal with social situations instead of avoiding them.
· Avoid Caffeine
Foods including soda, coffee, and chocolate stimulate as well as increase your anxiety.
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This will help you to control your anxiety through breathing and relaxation. Also, you will learn to let go of negative thoughts and acquire positive ones.
· Group Therapy
This therapy will help you to learn various techniques & social skills to engage with people in a social setting.
· Get Enough Sleep
It is recommended to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night as lack of sleep increases anxiety & worsens your symptoms.
Don’t allow social anxiety disorder to control your life. Keep your fears and anxiety under control by understanding the reasons causing nervousness, practice relaxation & breathing methods and take your medication correctly as directed by your doctor.
Also Read: Bulimia Nervosa: Meaning & Causes