Social Anxiety Disorder- Know more!


What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

You might agree that we live in a rude society. Society, in general, has transposed from the human side to a more synthetic environment in the last 20 years.


This has brought peculiarity in people in many different ways: one of them being over-sensitive to even small little things like; being over conscious to people and happenings around oneself or some innate feeling meeting someone.


Fear of being judged by others. Overthinking and reacting to almost everything… Making life an impossible one (even for others!)


If you feel all this sums up what you are… You may be an innocent victim of Social Anxiety Disorder.


Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Shyness or discomfort in specific situations, especially in children, are often no symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Personality traits and life events influence one's level of comfort in social situations. Some people are more reserved by nature, while others are just extroverts.


The symptoms of social anxiety disorder are not that of everyday nervousness, but rather include anxiety and fear that interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school or other activities. Anxiety disorders often begin in the early to mid-teens, although they can sometimes begin in younger children or adults.


The root-cause

Fear is the root cause of all social anxiety attacks. All of these trigger our feelings of embarrassment - fear of being judged by others, fear of judgement of oneself, doubt that we will be judged, or thinking that it will be worse if we are judged.


Biological, genetic, and environmental factors all are risk factors, according to scientific evidence. The illness typically manifests itself around the age of 13, though it can also affect younger children as well. Those who weep, cling, or refuse to speak in social situations with other children may be in distress. For children and teenagers, this is not a disorder that will go away on its own. If the signs and symptoms persist, it is critical to seek a diagnosis.


Unusual symptoms of anxiety

‍Indigestion: Anxiety can result in temporary or chronic indigestion. Phantom ringing: An ear ringing, known as tinnitus, can be a sign of anxiety or stress. Burning sensation, irregular heartbeats and physical numbness or tingling are some of the unusual symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.


Normal Anxiety Vs. Social Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a normal emotional response to stress and is an important aspect of living. Anxiety helps us stay safe and prepare for important events, and it lets us know when to act.


Social anxiety or another anxiety disorder may be present when anxiety is persistent, excessive, seemingly out of control, overwhelming, and disabling or interferes with daily activities.


Normal Anxiety Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Anxiety before giving a presentation, leading a meeting, or asking for a raise.

  • It's awkward to walk into a room full of strangers.

  • A blind date can leave you with butterflies or jitters.

  • Not accepting a promotion that might involve public speaking.

  • Anxiety at the office holiday party, leaving early or not attending.

  • Turning down an invitation for dinner from someone you've known for years out of fear of blushing and embarrassing yourself.


Selective Mutism

Selective mutism is a condition that frequently coexists with social anxiety disorder. People who suffer from this anxiety illness are capable of speaking, but they refuse to do so in certain situations or to certain people.


This disorder is usually noticed when a child begins school, especially preschool, and children with the disorder do not always improve as they become older. Selective mutism, if left untreated, disrupts education and friendships, as well as causes major stress and upheaval in the family. It can lead to chronic depression, increased anxiety, slowed academic progress, and other socio-emotional issues.


Treatment

Numerous treatment options have been scientifically proven to be effective. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a type of psychological therapy based on research findings, is one evidence-based treatment. This is a short-term treatment that actively engages people in changing how they perceive situations and events in their lives and assists them in developing skills to cope with anxiety.


Relaxation techniques

Just like exercise, relaxation skills need to be practised regularly and for a long time in order to yield significant results.


Just breathe!

Taking a few deep breaths is a useful method to calm yourself when you're feeling stressed or upset about something. On the one hand, it helps you relax and calm your mind, but altering our breathing rate can actually slow down our body's anxiety response.

Using breathing techniques to eliminate anxiety when you are feeling anxious is not recommended, but it can help you get through a stressful situation and help you calm your body so we can make a good decision on what to do next.


Slow Diaphragmatic Breathing

Take a deep breath through your nose so that the stomach moves out and meets the hand on your chest. Tighten your stomach muscles, and let them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips.



Group Therapy

Group therapy helps people better understand themselves and others in social situations. Participants learn more about themselves and others in group therapy.


How does it work?

Group therapy for social anxiety disorder is designed to help clients form new relationships and responses to situations that increase their anxiety in social situations. Counsellors often work with clients to set problem-specific goals and monitor their progress - usually monthly.


Counsellors will often ask leading questions to stimulate discussion and social interaction during group sessions. Someone may volunteer to share, or the therapist might ask someone. Conversations are always fluid and organic.


Group members will typically be assessed by their counsellors by checking in on their lives outside of the group, usually after one or two months. Clients can start to see gradual changes in social interactions or their confidence after that. Group practice definitely helps people gain confidence in their everyday lives, as they practice challenging social interactions in a safe environment.


Anyone who is experiencing social anxiety and finds oneself restricted to function in day to day activities do take professional help.


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