Social anxiety disorder is far more than getting nervous to break the ice between new people. It is an anxiety state, in which people start avoiding necessary social interaction. No matter if its interview for job or discussion between peers. The isolation results in losing many things that are important for living a life. This situation ultimately results in depression. This social withdrawal is basically the fear of being negatively judged by people. However, in this article, you will get complete details of symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of social anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:
Social phobia is a disorder related to social interaction with many people. Therefore, its symptoms are categorized within physical and behavioral signs.
- Avoiding social gatherings.
- Difficulty in giving opinions.
- Empty mindedness and confusion.
- Takes suggestions as an insult and feels guilty about it.
- Fear of getting teased and humiliated.
- A person disappears from the gathering or sits where they cannot be easily noticed.
- Holding parents firmly showing resistance to face the public.
- Thinking of any social event/interaction before many days.
- Negatively analyzing own behavior after any social interaction and
- Use of alcohol before attending any social event.
Whereas, physical symptoms of a social anxiety disorder include.
- Blushing of face.
- Shivering of hands that unable person to hold something.
- Constantly getting cold sweats on hand.
- Stuttering while speaking.
- Avoiding eye contact.
- Inability to walk properly.
- Crying and weeping
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Dryness of mouth.
- Stiffness of muscle.
- Severe pain in the stomach.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder:
Though social anxiety disorder comes within the genes, it has other causes that include:
- Child abuse.
- Sexual abuse.
- Overprotective parenting style.
- Any public embarrassing situation.
- Any defect or unusual physical appearance due to any health issue or accident.
- Hormonal imbalance of serotonin. It is a hormone produced in the brain that regulates mood.
- Hyperactivity of the amygdala also causes social anxiety disorder. It is a part of the brain that controls responses of fear and anxiety.
These all factors leads a person to severe depression. This social anxiety disorder affects an adult’s life, they are not ready to pursue their careers. Moreover, they are not ready to get into a marital relationship. Similarly, it hinders children to even attend school and results in school withdrawal. However, social phobia usually develops with in the early teenage, nearly to the age of 13. According to studies, shy children are more to turn out with social phobia. However, we need to understand that every shy and introvert is not the patient of social phobia. Once they engage themselves in social activities their anxiety fades. Shyness is just a response of hesitance before engaging yourself publically. It usually disappears once a person starts the interaction. It is usually short term and does not affect the quality of life. These all factors leads a person to severe depression.
Diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder:
There is no specific way for the diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. However, physical examination and open-ended questions from doctors help in the diagnosis. Physical examination helps to find out if any physical condition is the reason behind this. Whereas, doctors ask questions to catch the exact cause of this pain. This helps in adopting the correct treatment method for social anxiety disorder. However, people with social phobia usually report their problems after suffering it for almost 10 years.
Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder:
Depending on your condition, mental health professionals will decide the way of treatment. Sometimes one or more treatment methods are used for overcoming social anxiety disorder. The following are the therapeutic treatment of social anxiety disorders.
It is a type of therapy that deals with the patient’s thinking pattern. Your mental health professional works to change your negative thinking pattern into positive. Moreover, they also help you in controlling behavior in social gatherings. They basically train you in practicing calm responses towards social interaction.
It is another effective therapy. In this, a person is slowly and gradually exposed to the things that frighten him/her. By doing this victim is trained on how to respond to such circumstances.
In this therapy, many social anxiety disorder patients collectively perform different roles. This helps them to face their fears in safe environments. Plus, it gives them the sense that they are not the only one with this disorder. Being in the same situation they are more empathetic and helpful to each other.
Sometimes phobia is due to any past social unpleasant experience or abuse. This abuse can be sexual, social, or domestic nature. For healing, counseling is a good option. The psychologist helps patients in taking incidents in a positive way. Moreover, if needed psychologists may suggest family therapy to treat your anxiety.
Pharmaceutical treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder:
Apart from these therapies, there are other pharmaceutical treatments for social anxiety disorder. It includes:
SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It is a type of antidepressant which deals with depression by increasing the production of happy hormone; Serotonin.
Your physiatrist may suggest you anti-depressants. It is used for the short term to make your condition controllable. However, use is discontinued once the situation is under control.
Benzodiazepines are drugs that deal with anxiety. Doctors may recommend this to consume before any important social interaction. For example, interview for job or presentation in meetings. However, it has addictive effects therefore, the doctor suggests a short term or infrequent use.
Beta-blockers control the level of adrenaline. It is a hormone that deals with situations of fight and flight. When your adrenaline is on its peak, it increases your pulse rate, blood pressure (that causes blushing and redness of the face), and shaking of hands and legs. Beta-blockers block these responses and help patients to remain calm. However, short term uses preferably for these medicines also.
Any mental disorders start growing within the person’s unconscious mind. Therefore, it is important to seek help if any unpleasant situation. If any situation is constantly haunting you. If you are overthinking, feel anxious about social interactions and events seek help. However, sometimes it is normal to face such situations, but there is no harm in asking help even if it is not needed. It is better to be pro than to suffer the pain.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is a psychological disorder. Social anxiety disorder actually causes a person to think about him or herself as incompetent or loser in the eyes of other people. This leads the person to completely social withdraw from all social gatherings and events. As a result, it effects there many other aspects of life. This all combined can lead a person to extreme depression which can even lead a person to think about suicide.
However, as this disorder causes fear of people they face extreme difficulty to ask for help. However, some behavioral and physical symptoms can help in judging a person with a social anxiety disorder. Some prominent physical symptoms of a social anxiety disorder include rapid heartbeat, blushing, trembling of limbs, and so on. However, there is no specific diagnosis procedure for social anxiety disorder. Thus doctors take in-depth details of patient history to find the actual cause of it. The main causes of a social anxiety disorder include inheritance, abuse, trauma, or bully. Social phobia can be completely cured with the correct treatment. It has both therapeutic as well as pharmaceutical treatment procedures. But consistency is the key to effective treatment.