Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is the fear of social situations and interaction with other people that can automatically bring on a feeling of self -consciousness, judgment, evaluation and inferiority. All of us know that anxiety or stress is common these days. some people may feel nervous or uneasy in a social gathering. Attending public meetings or walking into a hall which is crowded with strangers for him\her is not exactly exciting to them, but most people can go through it.

If a person is usually anxious in social situations but seems fine when they are by themselves, then social anxiety may be the problem.

If someone has a social anxiety disorder, the stress of these situations is difficult to handle. So, people avoid all social contact because things that other people consider normal or comfortable – make them so uncomfortable and anxious.

Social anxiety disorder is a much more common problem than other people think. Millions of people all over the world are suffering from it. The average age is between 14-19 years old – the teenage years. It is one of the most common mental disorder.

People who suffer from social anxiety disorder will worry a lot about making a fool of themselves in front of other people and will feel very anxious before going into any social situations that worry them. When they are actually with people, they will feel even more anxious and may be unable to say or do what is intended.

Anyone with social anxiety disorder can experience it in different ways. Some have-

1) talking to unknown people

2) making eye contact

3) speaking in public

4) entering the room

5) going to parties

6) eating in front of other people

7) going to school or work

8) starting a conversation

Some people don’t feel easy in such situations. All socially anxious people have different reasons for fearing certain situations. But in general, it is the most fearful condition for them-

a) being judged or notice by others

b) being humiliated or embarrassed

c) being the centre of attraction

d) accidentally offending someone

People who have a social anxiety disorder may feel –

1) very self-conscious in social gatherings

2) feeling of fear, tense

3) shy and uncomfortable

4) hesitate to talk with other

5) not like to mix with other people

They might have some physical symptoms such as

1) Rapid heartbeat

2) muscle tension

3) blushing

4) dizziness

5) crying

6) sweating

7) stomach trouble

8) inability to catch a breath

Social anxiety disorder usually comes to around 15 years of age. It can be linked to a history of abuse, bullying or teasing. If anyone develops a health condition that draws attention to his \ or her appearance or voice that could trigger social anxiety too.

When people avoid all social situations, it affects their relationships. It can also lead to

1) low esteem

2) negative thoughts

3) depression

4) poor social skills that don’t improve

So, to overcome a social anxiety disorder, people have to talk to family and friends or in the worst condition consult with a doctor or a therapist.

Prescription medications and behaviour therapy are the two effective treatments for social anxiety disorder. Some need both. Except their therapies are — Relaxation therapy and Beta-blockers.

Dr S.k.jha

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