Social Anxiety Disorder – Symptoms, Causes, Test, And Treatment

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Social Anxiety Disorder – Symptoms, Causes, Test, And Treatment

We all know the sensation of being nervous in a social satire.  

A person with a social anxiety disorder will avoid all social contact because things that people consider normal can make him uncomfortable—like making small talk and maintaining eye contact.  

Social anxiety disorder typically begins between ages 11 and 19, the teenage years. It’s among the most common mental disorders, but there’s hope if you’ve got it. The tricky part is to ask for help.  

Here’s the way to know if your social disorder has gone beyond the point where you need a doctor consultation.

Social anxiety disorder is a deep, continuous fear of being watched or judged by others. This disorder can affect career, academics and other everyday activities. It can even make it hard to form and keep friends. The great news is social anxiety disorder is treatable.

Social anxiety is a mental disorder that causes anxiety during social meetings.

Anyone with this disorder has trouble talking and meeting new people and attending social gatherings. They’ll feel anxious about other people either judging or scrutinising them for no reason. They can understand their fears occur for no reason, but they feel they have no chance to overpower them.

Social anxiety differs from shyness. Shyness makes socializing, academics and work tough. It will not disrupt everyday life to the same extent as social anxiety. Social anxiety is persistent and overwhelming and affect everyday activities like grocery shopping.

When does social anxiety happen?

When does social anxiety happen

In some people with social and mental disorders, the fear is restricted to particular situations, like speaking publicly or initiating a conversation. Others are very anxious and scared of any social situation.

Anyone with a social anxiety disorder can experience it in different ways. But here are some everyday situations that people tend to have trouble with.

  • Talking to strangers
  • Speaking publicly
  • Dating
  • Making eye contact
  • Entering rooms
  • Using public restrooms
  • Going to parties
  • Eating ahead of others
  • Trouble at school  
  • Trouble at work and
  • Initiating conversations.

Some of the above-mentioned situations might not cause a problem. For instance, giving a speech could also be easy, but visiting a party might be a nightmare. Otherwise, you could be great at one-on-one conversations without entering a crowded classroom.

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder

An individual with social anxiety disorder may exhibit symptoms like

  • Blushing
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Have a rigid body stance
  • Trouble speaking
  • A feeling of mind going blank
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid pulse

Other symptoms include,

  • Excessive worry before, during or after a social setting.
  • Restricting themselves from social situations.  
  • Self-consciousness
  • Fear of doing something embarrassing
  • Feeling a requirement to consume alcohol to help face a social gathering
  • Missing out on regular activities like school or work due to anxiety.

Everyone feels anxious sometimes, but people with social anxiety continue to fear being judged by people around them or humiliated in front of them.

They may avoid all social situations, including:

  • Asking an issue
  • Job interviews
  • Shopping
  • Using public restrooms
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating publicly
  • Some people have limited or selective anxiety. People with intense symptoms may avoid all social gatherings.

What are the causes of social anxiety disorder?

The accurate cause of social anxiety disorder is unknown, but it will result from a combination of various internal and external factors.

Physical, biological and genetic factors hold a crucial role. Problems with neurotransmitter systems may cause imbalances in the hormones serotonin, dopamine and glutamate. These brain chemicals help regulate mood.

Some experts say that environmental factors can also contribute as part of a complex interaction involving biological and genetic features.

Factors which will contribute include a history of

  • Emotional, physical or other forms of abuse
  • Negative interactions with peers
  • Overcontrolling parenting style
  • Having an insecure attachment pattern
  • Adverse experiences may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders run in families due to genetic or environmental factors.

Diagnosing the social anxiety disorder

There’s no medical test for diagnosing social anxiety disorder. During diagnosis, a doctor will likely ask about the following.

  • Symptoms
  • Case history and  
  • Other health conditions.

Specific situations provoke fear or anxiety. These are also known as triggers. A person either avoids these triggers completely or attends to them with anxiety and fear.

The fear a person experiences during an episode is out of proportion. It usually lasts more than a few months.

Constant episodes of fear and anxiety can disturb everyday life.

Other symptoms exhibited by a person with other health conditions cannot cause fear and anxiety.  

This can rule out other conditions, such as,

  • a substance-abuse
  • a mental disorder
  • concerns a few health issues, obesity or a physical characteristic, like a facial burn.

Treatment for social anxiety disorder

  • Several treatment options can help with a social or mental health issue.  

The effectiveness of the therapy will vary among individuals. Some people only need one treatment, but others may have multiple treatments or some combination.

A doctor may prescribe treatment, or they’ll refer you to a psychologist or other mental health specialist.

Options include the following.

  • Counselling therapy
  • Counselling involves talking, either one-on-one or in groups. Counselling sessions are available face-to-face or online.

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps a person learn new ways to manage anxiety, such as replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Acceptance and commitment therapy is where people learn to use mindfulness, acceptance and behavioural strategies to be more present and work out how to live a productive life despite having such negative feelings.

Group therapy and support groups help us learn social skills or techniques that can help us interact with people in a social setting. Working in a group can help a person understand that they are not alone and can receive practical solutions.

Exposure therapy is where a healthcare professional will facilitate you gradually face social situations rather than avoiding them.

Medication

Medications can help improve your symptoms and facilitate your function in your daily life.

Medications which will treat social anxiety disorder include,

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like paroxetine (Paxil) and Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), for instance, venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Propanol

SSRIs or SNRIs can take several weeks to possess an effect, but there are other medications that can prove to be short-acting.  

With proper guidance, it is better to consume medications in recommended doses to avoid side effects. The doctor will explain the advantages and risks and help you decide which treatment is proper for an individual.

Home remedies

Home remedies can support the treatment and recovery recommended by a doctor.

Tips for dealing with stress and anxiety include,

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Activities like yoga and tai chi assist manage stress
  • Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
  • Establishing a daily sleep routine
  • Learning about anxiety and its effects
  • Finding a trusted person to speak with honestly, like a friend, therapist or loved one
  • Knowing the signs and when to hunt help
  • Getting regular exercise and eating a diet to boost your overall sense of well-being

Outlook and complications

According to the ADAA, over one-third of individuals with social anxiety don’t seek help until they have had symptoms for at least ten years. People might not see their discomfort as a mental health issue and may not realise that support is available.

Without treatment, a phobia can affect

  • Achievement at work and in studies
  • Social interaction
  • Relationships
  • Self-esteem
  • Quality of life

Most individuals have other conditions alongside social anxiety, such as

  • Depression
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Thinking about or attempting suicide

Counselling therapy, lifestyle changes and drugs can help many cope with social anxiety and other mental health issues.

To sum up

A social mental disorder is a deep, continuous fear of being watched or judged by others. This disorder can affect career, academics and other everyday activities. It can even make it hard to form and keep friends.

 Proper medical assistance is required to treat the disorder. Home remedies can support the treatment and recovery recommended by a doctor.

FAQs

What are the risk factors of social anxiety?  

Some of the risk factors of social anxiety are as follows.
 
1· Family history.  
2· Negative experiences.  
3· Temperament.
4· New social demands
5· Work demands.  
6· Having a physical appearance or a health condition that draws attention.

What are the environmental factors of social anxiety?

People who experience bullying or teasing, frequent rejection and humiliation are prone to a social anxiety disorder or other mental disorders. Other negative events like family conflict, childhood trauma and physical or mental abuse are associated with this disorder.

What factors trigger anxiety?  

Factors like trauma, stress, illness, mental health disorders, family history, individual personality and excessive alcohol can trigger anxiety.  

What are social risk factors in mental health?  

Homelessness, unemployment, alcoholism, substance abuse, conflicts among family members and stressful life are the risk factors involved in mental health.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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