What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a form of anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of social situations. People who suffer from this condition have difficulty conversing with others, meeting new people, and attending social events. They are afraid of being scrutinized or judged by others. They may recognize that their fears are irrational or unfounded, but they believe they have no control over them.
Shyness is not the same as social anxiety. Shyness is normally transient and has no impact on one’s life. Social anxiety is a chronic and crippling condition. It can have an effect on one’s ability to:
- go to school
- establish close relationships with people who aren’t related to them
Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
Physical symptoms can arise as a result of social interaction:
- excessive sweating
- trembling or shaking
- difficulty speaking
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- rapid heart rate
Psychological symptoms may include:
- Worrying excessively regarding social interactions is one example of a psychological symptom.
- Worrying for days or weeks before a gathering, avoiding social situations or blending into the background if you must participate, fearing embarrassment in a social situation
- Worrying that someone will notice you’re anxious or nervous, and that you’ll need alcohol to get through a social situation
- Because of anxiety, you could miss school or work.
What Are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
It is unclear what causes social phobia. Present evidence, on the other hand, supports the theory that it is triggered by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Negative interactions, such as the following, can also play a role in this disorder:
- family conflict
- sexual abuse
This disorder can be exacerbated by physical disturbances such as a serotonin imbalance. Serotonin is a brain chemical that aids in mood regulation. These conditions can also be caused by an overactive amygdala (a brain structure that regulates fear response and anxiety feelings or thoughts).
Anxiety disorders may be passed down through generations. Researchers aren’t sure if they’re due to genetic influences, however. For example, a child can develop an anxiety disorder by imitating the actions of a parent who suffers from anxiety. Anxiety disorders may develop in children who are raised in overprotective or controlling environments.
Diagnosing Social Anxiety Disorder
There is no medical test to determine whether or not anyone has social anxiety disorder. A summary of your symptoms will help your doctor identify social phobia. They can also diagnose social phobia by looking at those patterns of behaviour.
Your healthcare professional will ask you to describe your symptoms during your appointment. They’ll also want to know about the situations that are causing the symptoms. The following are examples of social anxiety disorder criteria:
- a persistent fear of humiliation or embarrassment in social settings
- feeling nervous or panicked before a social interaction
- a recognition that your worries are irrational anxiety that is interfering with your everyday life
Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
It can be difficult at first to seek treatment for a condition such as social anxiety disorder, which makes you hesitant to talk to strangers. However, if you’re avoiding social interaction to the point that it’s taking over your life, you can seek help from a mental health professional. There are several therapies available.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is characterized by an intense fear of social environments such as parties, dating, public speaking, and dining out. When you isolate yourself due to social anxiety, you can experience depression and low self-esteem. You may have suicidal or suicidal thoughts.
It’s time to seek therapy if you’ve been avoiding such social situations for at least a few months and are experiencing extreme stress as a result.
Social anxiety disorder may be treated in a variety of ways. The outcomes of treatment vary from person to person. Some people only need a single medication. Others, on the other hand, can need more than one. For treatment, your healthcare provider may refer you to a mental health provider. Medications can be recommended by primary care providers to relieve symptoms.
The following are some of the treatment choices for social anxiety disorder:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
This therapy teaches you how to relax and breathe to control anxiety, as well as how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Rather than avoiding social situations, this form of therapy lets you progressively confront them.
Therapy in a group setting
This therapy teaches you how to deal with people in social situations by teaching you social skills and strategies. It may help you feel less alone if you participate in group therapy with others who share your fears. It will allow you to put your new skills into practice through role-playing.
Caffeine avoidance is one of the at-home therapies.
Stimulants like coffee, chocolate, and soda can make you feel anxious.
Getting enough sleep
It is recommended that you get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety and intensify social phobia symptoms.
If your anxiety or depression does not improve with therapy and lifestyle changes, your doctor can prescribe antidepressant medications. These drugs do not work to treat social anxiety disorder. They will, however, help you manage your symptoms and work in your everyday life. Medication can take up to three months to relieve the symptoms.
Paxil, Zoloft, and Effexor XR are three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat social anxiety disorder. To prevent side effects, your healthcare provider can start you on a low dose and gradually raise your prescription.
Common side effects of these prescribed medications comprise:
- insomnia (sleeplessness)
- weight gain
- upset stomach
- lack of sexual desire
It is still very important to talk to your doctor about what could be the right treatment for you to treat Social anxiety disorder
At i-kare treatment center, we can help you turn your life around by helping you in numerous ways. You don’t have to let social phobia rule your life. Psychotherapy and/or medication may make you feel calmer and more secure in social situations, but it can take weeks or months.