Need to deliver a speech but feel like fainting at the thought of going in front of the class to present? Scared to attend a social gathering for no apparent reason? You might be suffering from social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder, also referred to as social phobia, and is a kind of mental disorder where the sufferer experiences a severe or unreasonable fear of social gatherings where there is a possibility that one may get embarrassed. Most times, these anxieties arise from an intense fear of being closely watched or scrutinized - from the simple things like the way they dress, talk or act; to important job functions like performing in front of a crowd, giving a presentation, or finishing an interview for a job application. This kind of phobia may give sufferers a feeling of being trapped or shut away from the world.
They say social anxiety disorder is closely related to shyness. However social phobia differs in that this disrupts normal socializing occasions, Everyone goes through a stage of shyness in their life but overcoming it is a necessary 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 treat this condition early enough.
Those with social phobia manifest 2 basic kinds of symptoms: emotional and physical. The emotional symptoms include: an intense fear of being in situations in which you don't know people, fear of situations in which you may be judged, worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself, fear that others will notice that you look anxious, anxiety that disrupts your daily routine, work, school or other activities, avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment, avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention. The physical symptoms include: Blushing, profuse sweating, trembling or shaking, nausea, stomach upset, difficulty talking, shaky voice, muscle tension, confusion, palpitations, diarrhea, cold and shaky hands, and difficulty making eye contact.
Basically, this phobia manifests a symptom of being overly anxious around other people. Sufferers think that other people are more confident that they are, that other people are better 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.
The great news is that there is a remedy for this condition. For the years now, a combination of talk therapy and medications has proven most helpful to reduce the effects, if not cure, this mental condition. Certain anti-depressants (Paroxetine and Venlafaxine), anti-anxiety medications, and beta blockers are used to help Socio-phobic people to balance certain chemicals in the brain and minimize panic attacks during periods of heightened anxiety. Talk therapy helps people with social anxiety disorder learn how to react differently to such situations that trigger anxiety. The therapist helps the patient confront the negative feelings about social situations and the fear about being judged by others. Patients learn how their thinking patterns add to the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and how to change their thinking so the symptoms reduce.
Getting past that stage is the difficult part. Ultimately, it ends up to building your confidence to a certain level for you to be comfortable enough to move normally. In case you’ve been diagnosed as a socio-phobic, it is nothing to be ashamed of. With a little bit of therapy, proper medication, and enough support from people you’ll gradually be able to do socialize and function well within a group without being too nervous.
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