Posted: 23 November 2012 at 8:22am | IP Logged
Scared to go out to a meeting to speak to a client? 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 known as social phobia, 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 or ridiculed. Most of the time, 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
gives 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 the sense that this disrupts normal
socializing functions. It is true that everyone goes through a stage of
shyness in their life, overcoming it is a different 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 determine and treat this said condition before it worsens.
People 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
clammy 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 good news is that there is a cure for this condition. For the past
20 years, a combination of talk therapy and medications has proven most
helpful to limit the effects, if not cure, this mental condition.
Certain anti-depressants (Paroxetine, Sertraline 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 teaches people with social anxiety disorder to react differently
to situations that trigger their 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 begin to lessen.
To be shy is quite normal, everybody has gone through a similar phase.
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 who believe
in you, you'll slowly be able to do socialize and function normally
within a group without being too anxious.