Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is a kind of mental disorder wherein a person experiences an intense or unreasonable fear of social gatherings where there is a possibility that one may get embarrassed or ridiculed. This mental condition is also known as social phobia. Most of the time, these anxieties arise from an intense fear of being observed and scrutinized. This may range from simple things like the way a person walks, talks or acts; to important job functions like performing in front of a crowd, giving presentations, or finishing an interview for a job application.
Social phobia disrupts a person’s normal life because it makes sufferers avoid doing things that require social contact in fear of embarrassment, and situations where they might become the center of attention. People with social phobia manifest two general symptoms:
1.Emotional symptoms which may include the following:
An overwhelming fear of being put into situations where one is surrounded by strangers
Being extremely scared of being in situations where the sufferer may be judged
Worrying excessively about embarrassing or humiliating one’s self
An baseless fear that others will notice that you look anxious
Severe anxiety that can disrupt one’s daily routine, work, school or other activities
2.Physical symptoms include:
trembling or shaking
cold and clammy hands
difficulty making eye contact
Mental health professionals say social anxiety disorder is closely related to shyness. However social phobia differs in the sense that this disrupts normal socializing functions. It is true that everyone goes through a stage of shyness in their life, overcoming it is a different thing. When it becomes too much that it interrupts your daily life and relationships to the point where you are sick with worry, it is time to seek counsel. It is good to know the signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder to be able to determine and treat this said condition before it worsens.
Social anxiety disorder sufferers always think that other people are more confident that they are, that other people are better than them. They feel uncomfortable being around people that it makes it difficult for them to eat, drink, work, asking questions, asking for dates, even going to the toilet, when other people are around.
Fortunately for people with social phobia, a combination of treatments and therapies are available to help them get over this kind of anxiety disorder. Mental health professionals have been using a combination of talk therapy and medications to minimize, if not fully get rid of, the effects of having social anxiety disorder.
Different prescription drugs are being used to help people with social phobia. Certain anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers help sociophobes to balance certain brain chemicals and reduce instances of having panic attacks during periods of heightened anxiety.
Counseling, or talk therapy, helps people with social anxiety disorder by teaching them how to react to situations that trigger their anxiety. Therapists help patients confront their negative feelings about social situations and their fear of being judged. This helps patients understand how their thought patterns contribute to the symptoms of social phobia and gives than an idea on how to change the way they think to make the symptoms begin to lessen.
Being diagnosed as a sociophobe doesn’t have to mean you have to stay as one. It is nothing to be ashamed of and should be tackled head on. After all, with the presence of advanced medicine and a good counselling session, you’ll slowly be able to outgrow this mental condition and socialize and function normally within a group without being too anxious.