What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia is a psychological condition where you feel an intense fear of certain social situations. Since it is not a physical condition, the treatment of SAD does not involve medication. However, medication is used in addition to psychological therapy and self-control techniques. Some of the most common medications used to treat social anxiety disorder are beta blockers, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines.
Psychological counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy and self-control are the two most effective treatments for social phobia. Some of the best techniques for fighting social phobia are to avoid negative thoughts, take deep breaths, and face the social situations you fear. Personality development is also an effective way of treating social anxiety disorder. Work on your communication skills, interact with new people, take social classes, and volunteer to work in groups or take group therapy.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is also very helpful in the treatment of SAD. Caffeine acts as an active catalyst in triggering anxiety, so avoid caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, and soda. Also, increase the intake of omega-3 fats in your diet. Quit smoking and drinking if possible or limit it to occasions. Proper rest and sleep also reduce the level of anxiety.
How Does Social Anxiety Feel?
Social anxiety may seem like normal anxiety at first, but if symptoms last for more than six months, a doctor may be sought for treatment. Patients suffering from social anxiety often express common symptoms such as:
- Anxiety or fear in some or all social situations.
- Public speaking or group discussion.
- Doing things of daily routine in front of people.
- Fear of being humiliated, judged, and rejected by others.
- Shaking hands and feet.
- To sweat.
- Shortness of breath
- Heart rate increased.
In severe cases, anxiety or even panic attacks in the presence of an uncomfortable social situation.
What Is The Difference Between Social Anxiety And Social Anxiety Disorder?
Apart from its chronology, social anxiety and social anxiety disorder are two different names that are used to define a mental disorder. To describe the more elaborate and generalized nature, the new term was introduced in the context of fear, one of the most common symptoms of this disorder.
The Main Criteria upon which it was reworked, the previous edition, described social anxiety or phobia as the fear of uncomfortable social situations. Further studies on the disorder suggest that individuals may fear a variety of different social situations as a result of social anxiety disorder.
How Is Your Social Anxiety Diagnosed?
One of the easiest ways to diagnose the disorder is by the presence of fear in specific or all types of social situations. Other symptoms associated with the disorder that can be easily diagnosed are:
- Speak with a rigid body posture, little eye-to-eye contact, or an overly soft voice.
- Flushing, shivering, sweating, fast heart rate, or a feeling of “mindless”.
- Nausea or stomach disease.
- Avoid places with other people.
- Feelings of embarrassment, obliviousness, and self-awareness in social situations.
- Afraid of being judged by others.
Have a hard time communicating socially, especially with new people, despite being willing to express their feelings in front of people and vent their feelings.
For an elaborative analysis of the disorder, it is recommended to consult a medical professional. Although social anxiety disorder seems easy to diagnose, patients sometimes find it difficult to feel or accept their suffering.
Will my social anxiety ever go away?
The stability of the illness in your life depends on the trauma that triggered the disorder, for some individuals the anxiety is intense and goes away naturally as they get older. Others may need professional help to overcome their fear of being in social situations.
In both cases, social anxiety is a treatable disorder. Some self-help techniques you can adopt to overcome acute and short-term social anxiety disorder are:
- Practice breathing exercises the person may feel short of breath during episodes of anxiety which can be managed by simple breathing exercises. Instead of taking fast and shallow breaths, try replacing them with slow and deep breaths.
- Do exercises that help relax your body and muscles? Physical fitness treatments such as yoga and meditation will help a person to soothe the muscles.
- Try small, starting with someone or a small group of people you feel comfortable with. Try to engage in small conversations and let them happen naturally.
Often people with social anxiety forget what they want to say when facing a public meeting, it is better to prepare well in advance. Present in front of an audience.