Social Anxiety Disorder
Social phobia or social anxiety disorder is a psychological condition defined as an exaggerated reaction of fear to a situation or problem that isn’t actually dangerous or life threatening. Like all the other types of anxiety disorders, this form of the ailment affects both the thinking and behavioral patterns of the patient, for this reason a complex approach will be required when it comes to finding the most effective social anxiety disorder treatment methods.
How does social phobia disorder manifest?
The type of anxiety induced by social exposure manifests through overwhelming feelings of fear, excessive self-consciousness in every day social situations and intense worrying about doing things that could embarrass the sufferer.
Unlike normal nervous tension, which usually appears before important events, exams or public performances, in this case the fear starts manifesting days or weeks before the social exposure and becomes so severe that it often interferes with the patient’s behavior at his workplace, school or even at home.
But social anxiety triggers not only psychical reactions, physical symptoms are also present in people dealing with this unpleasant health condition. The rush of adrenaline that induce the uncomfortable feelings of fear and nervousness leads to trembling and profuse sweating, blushing, nausea, difficulty breathing, headaches and difficulties in talking and concentrating.
People dealing with this ailment feel all eyes are watching them therefore they tend to become extremely shy, avoid social exposure and public performances, although they can easily interact with family members and close friends. So in social phobia, the typical symptoms appear when it comes to meeting new people, talking in large groups or in public or participating in a public event and social situation where an active presence is required.
The Effects of Social Anxiety Disorder
According to statistics, social anxiety disorder affects about 15 million adults within the United States, women and men being equally exposed to developing this psychological disorder. In most of the cases, the symptoms of social phobia disorder start manifesting in early adolescence or in childhood so it is believed that genetics plays a role in the development of this type of phobia.
Social phobia is often associated with depression, substance abuse, social isolation and other similar problems that affect one’s public and personal relationships and performances. young children dealing with this anxiety type often avoid volunteering in school or answering to a teacher’s questions in order to avoid public humiliation.
Also, because of the lack of self-esteem, they get extremely nervous and insecure when they are asked to participate in social activities and they avoid reading aloud or sharing their personal points of view on a certain problem or topic. This is why if childhood social anxiety treatment is postponed or neglected, it will prevent adolescents and adults from joining team projects, trying new things and getting involved in activities that could help them develop new skills or improve their knowledge in certain fields.
Sentimental relationships are also affected by this psychological problem as patients suffering from social phobia avoid going to parties, chatting with friends and joining large groups where they could meet new people. As a result, the feeling of loneliness and shyness and the disappointment that accompanies this form of anxiety worsens the already existing social anxiety disorder symptoms, leading to a vicious cycle and making the condition even more difficult to manage.
Articles related to social anxiety disorder: