Most of us have experienced a sudden increase in heart beat rate and sweaty palm while entering a room full of people or while giving a presentation. Though the experience is not exactly thrilling, but most people get through it .
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a mental health condition. It is the intense fear of getting judged, negatively evaluated in a social or performance situation.
People with social anxiety fear getting judged as awkward, boring or visibly anxious. Due to this fear they often get secluded from social setting , affecting their school, work and other day to day activities.
People with social anxiety disorder also experience symptoms such as rapid heart palpitation, nausea, sweating , they may also experience full blown attack. Though the people with this disorder know that their fear is irrational, but they experience a feeling of powerlessness before their anxiety.
Symptoms of social anxiety can become so severe that it can disrupt the day to day routine of an individual, making it difficult for them to continue schooling or job or any form of social contact. People suffering also have high changes of developing major depressive disorder and alcohol abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
The signs and symptoms which a person with social anxiety disorder faces while dealing with social setting are as follows:
• Heart palpitation , sweating , and feeling of blacking out
• Nausea and feeling sick to their stomach
• Rigid body posture, making little to no eye contact
• Finding it extremely difficult to communicate with people , especially if they don’t already know the person
• Being extremely self conscious in social situations
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder
There can be several causes of social anxiety. Here are few :
• Social anxiety may have it’s causes in heredity. If social anxiety runs in the family, the person might also suffer from the same.
• Researches has also found that part of human brain are involved in fear and anxiety.
• Misreading others behaviour can also be a cause of social anxiety.
• Underdeveloped social skills can also act as a contributor of social anxiety.
Treating Social Anxiety Disorder
First and foremost is consulting a doctor or health care professional, to make sure that your symptoms are not showing due to some physiological conditions. Then if the symptoms have no physical cause then consulting the psychologist or psychiatrist is always recommended. Getting diagnosed by a mental health expert is of utmost importance.
Social anxiety disorder is usually treated of psychotherapy , medication or both.
• Psychotherapy : Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) a type of psychotherapy is usually effective in dealing with social anxiety disorder. It help individuals by teaching them effective ways of thinking, behaving and dealing with social situations. CBT facilitates the learning of social skills.
• Medication : There are three types of medication effective in this case . They are anti anxiety medication , anti depressants and beta blockers. Medications are only to be taken when prescribed by the psychiatrist. The dose and the duration of medication is to be prescribed by mental health expert. Consuming medication without an expert recommendation can do more harm than any good.
• Support groups : Many people dealing with social anxiety find support groups helpful. In support groups, people get unbiased, honest support from people suffering with same disorder. It provides the person with a judgement free set up, which also help boast one’s confidence.
The amalgamation of the three can be useful for an individual with serious social anxiety disorder. However it is to be prescribed by the expert what is best for an individual only after diagnosis because each individual differ from the other .