Does the idea of meeting new people terrify you? Are you extremely self-conscious in social situations? Do you often feel as though everyone is always judging you? Does your anxiety about being around people make it hard for you to do everyday things? If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, then it’s likely you have Social Anxiety Disorder. Also referred to as social phobia, this condition is marked by an intense, unrelenting fear of being under constant scrutiny from others. Feeling this way all the time will make seemingly regular things – like going to work or popping off to the supermarket – an absolute nightmare. However, it is possible to achieve a better quality of life with social anxiety disorder if you learn to properly manage the related symptoms.
As mentioned above, Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an intense phobia of social situations. It goes beyond ‘normal’ shyness in that your everyday life is affected to the point where it becomes difficult to go to work or school, and even establish relationships with others. Considered a type of anxiety disorder, people suffering from social anxiety will commonly feel overly anxious and fearful when meeting new people or just being around people in general. In fact, it’s the fear of being judged, rejected, and humiliated that lies at the root of this particular type of anxiety. The physical response of the body during these bouts of anxiety include increased heart rate, tense muscles, feeling dizzy, stomach issues (including diarrhea), and shortness of breath. People with social anxiety disorder have described feeling out of control of their bodies when this happens. As a result, it often leads to social withdrawal as a way of avoiding the anxiety altogether. Other complications of the condition include low self-esteem, poor social skills, substance abuse as a means of coping, extreme sensitivity to criticism, trouble maintaining interpersonal relationships, and low achievement rates at work or school.
What are the signs and what can you do about it?It’s pretty hard to miss the signs of social anxiety disorder because of the intense physical effects it has on a person. For example, sweating, blushing, feeling nauseous, rigid posture, and the inability to make eye contact when faced with anything involving people. These, along with the continued avoidance of social situations in general are key red flags that the person could be struggling with social anxiety disorder. So what can be done if you or someone you know is showing these symptoms? Fortunately, there’s no need to hide from the world for the rest of your life, because treatment is available. This usually takes the form of psychotherapy or medication, or sometimes a combination of the two. In this way, you are guided through the process of taking back control when it comes to the thought patterns and fears that feed your anxiety. However, a diagnosis is critical before treatment can begin. This is to rule out that your condition isn’t related to another health problem. If you think the symptoms mentioned above fit your experience, then please contact ZwavelStream Clinic for a diagnosis and treatment.