Social Anxiety Disorder

 Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that 15 million individuals in the United States suffer with social anxiety disorder, Symptoms of this condition may appear as early as the age of thirteen.  

Social anxiety disorder, often known as social phobia, is a form of anxiety disorder characterised by intense fear in social situations, People who suffer from this illness have difficulty conversing with others, meeting new people, and attending social gatherings, They are afraid of being inspected or judged by others, They may recognise that their anxieties are irrational or unjustified, yet they believe they have no control over them. 

What Are the Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder?

It is uncertain what causes social phobia, Current research, on the other hand, supports the theory that it is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic variables. Negative experiences, such as the following, may also play a role in this disorder:

Sexual abuse, bullying, and family strife

This illness may be exacerbated by physical problems such as a serotonin imbalance. Serotonin is a brain molecule that aids in mood regulation. These diseases may also be caused by an overactive amygdala (a brain region that mediates fear response and anxiety feelings or thoughts). 

Anxiety disorders can be passed down through generations. Researchers aren't sure if they're linked to hereditary factors, though. For example, a youngster may develop an anxiety problem by imitating the behaviour of a parent who suffers from anxiety. Anxiety problems can arise in children who are raised in overprotective or controlling homes. (Source)

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Shyness or discomfort in certain situations aren't always symptoms of social anxiety disorder, especially in children. The level of comfort in social situations varies according to personality traits and life experiences. Some people are more reserved by nature, while others are more outgoing.

In contrast to ordinary nervousness, social anxiety disorder is characterised by fear, anxiety, and avoidance that interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school, or other activities. Social anxiety disorder typically manifests itself in the early to mid-teens, though it can manifest itself in younger children or adults as well. 
 
It's natural to have anxiety from time to time. When you have social phobia, on the other hand, you are always afraid of being criticised or humiliated in front of others. You have the option of avoiding all social situations, including:

asking a question at a job interview, using public restrooms, talking on the phone while dining in public 

Physical symptoms may arise as a result of social interaction:

  • nauseating
  • blushing
  • sweating excessively trembling or shivering difficulty speaking dizziness or lightheadedness fast heart rate

Behavioral and emotional symptoms


Consistent signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Fear of being judged negatively in situations.
  • Be concerned about embarrassment or humiliation.
  • Fear of interacting or conversing with strangers.
  • Fear that others will notice your anxiety.
  • Fear of embarrassing physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling, or having a shaky voice.
  • Fear of embarrassment causes people to avoid doing things or speaking to others.
  • Avoiding situations in which you may be the centre of attention
  • Anxiety caused by anticipating a feared activity or event.
  • Anxiety or fear during social situations.
  • After a social situation, analyse your performance and identify flaws in your interactions. 

Anxiety about interacting with adults or peers in children can manifest as crying, temper tantrums, clinging to parents, or refusing to speak in social situations.

When you have a performance type of social anxiety disorder, you experience intense fear and anxiety when speaking or performing in public but not in other more general social situations. 


Risk Factors



Several factors, including: can increase the risk of developing social anxiety disorder.


History of the family. If your biological parents or siblings have social anxiety disorder, you are more likely to develop it as well.

Negative encounters Children who are subjected to teasing, bullying, rejection, ridicule, or humiliation are more likely to develop social anxiety disorder. Furthermore, other negative life events, such as family conflict, trauma, or abuse, may be linked to this disorder.

Temperament. Children who are shy, timid, withdrawn, or restrained when confronted with new situations or people may be more vulnerable. 

New social or professional obligations. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder typically appear in adolescence, but meeting new people, giving a public speech, or giving an important work presentation may trigger symptoms for the first time.

Having an eye-catching appearance or condition. For example, facial disfigurement, stuttering, or tremors caused by Parkinson's disease can heighten feelings of self-consciousness and, in some cases, trigger social anxiety disorder.

 

Complications


If left untreated, social anxiety disorder has the potential to take over your life. Anxiety can disrupt work, school, relationships, and enjoyment of life. This condition may result in:


  • Self-esteem is low.

  • Having difficulty being assertive.

  • Self-talk that is negative.

  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism

  • Social skills are lacking.

  • Isolation and thorny social relationships

  • Low academic and occupational achievement.

  • Substance abuse, such as excessive alcohol consumption.

  • Suicide or attempted suicide.

Other anxiety disorders, as well as certain other mental health disorders, such as major depressive disorder and substance abuse issues, frequently coexist with social anxiety disorder.

The following are examples of psychological symptoms:

  • a preoccupation with social situations
  • Worrying for days or weeks before an event, avoiding social events or blending into the background if you must attend, fearing embarrassment in a social scenario
  • Worrying that others will know you're tense or nervous, and that you'll need drink to get through a social scenario
  • Because of anxiousness, you may skip school or work.  

Social Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis

There is no medical test to determine whether or not someone has social anxiety disorder. A description of your symptoms will help your doctor diagnose social phobia. They can also identify social phobia by looking at particular patterns of behaviour.

Your healthcare professional will ask you to describe your symptoms during your session.
They'll also want to know about the situations that are causing your problems.
The following are examples of social anxiety disorder criteria:

  • a persistent dread of shame or embarrassment in social circumstances
  • Before a social contact, you may feel worried or panicked.
  • a recognition that your anxieties are unfounded
  • Anxiety that interferes with day-to-day activities 

 Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment

If your anxiety or depression does not improve with counselling and lifestyle modifications, your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medicines.These drugs do not work to treat social anxiety disorder.
They can, however, help you manage your symptoms and operate in your daily life. Medication can take up to three months to improve your symptoms.  

Social anxiety disorder can be treated in a variety of ways, The outcomes of treatment vary from person to person. Some people simply require a single treatment. Others, on the other hand, may require more than one. For treatment, your healthcare practitioner may recommend you to a mental health provider.
Medications may be recommended by primary care doctors to manage symptoms.

The following are some of the treatment possibilities for social anxiety disorder:

Cognitive behavioural therapy 

(CBT) is a type of therapy, This therapy teaches you how to relax and breathe to reduce anxiety, as well as how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy 

is a type of treatment that involves exposing, Rather of avoiding social situations, this style of therapy helps you gradually confront them.

Caffeine abstinence

Stimulants like coffee, chocolate, and soda can make you feel anxious.  

 
You don't have to let social phobia rule your life. Psychotherapy and/or medication can help you feel calmer and more confident in social situations, however it may take weeks or months.

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