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Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness

Social Anxiety Disorder

What is social anxiety disorder? You may ask isn’t that just being too shy? The answer is no. It is a persistent and irrotational fear of situations that may involve judgement from others in social events. In addition, men and women are affected with this disorder in equal proportions.

What causes Social Anxiety?

First of all, let us begin with a definition for social anxiety disorder. The irrational and persistent fear of being judged in social events or situations. People with social anxiety fear and avoid social situations. This may begin early on in the social and developmental stages in children and teens. However, there are chances that overprotective parents or limited social opportunities could make it worse for the person.

Ever heard of the saying, “liquid courage”? Did you know, people with social phobia are at a higher risk for alcohol or other drug use? This is because they may self-medicate and rely on these substances to relax in social situations.

What are the common symptoms?

Those with social anxiety become very anxious and self-conscious in everyday social situations. In other words, it’s a chronic fear of being watched and judged. Especially when they think they will do something embarrassing in front of the people around them. In addition, they may even worry and dread situations for days or even weeks. This fear can become so severe that it interferes with their everyday lives, work, school, other everyday activities, and it can be especially difficult to make and keep friends and family.

Some of the most common fears of people with this disorder include:

  • Parties and other social occasions
  • Eating, drinking, and writing in public
  • Meeting new people
  • Speaking in public
  • Using public restrooms

Physical symptoms include:

  • Blushing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Nausea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Trembling

What are available treatment plans?

The goal of a treatment is to help you function effectively. The success of the treatment usually depends on the severity of your fears.

  • Usually the first treatment tried first and with the most long-lasting benefits is behavioral treatment.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you understand and change the thoughts that cause your condition, as well as learning to recognize and replace panic-causing thoughts.
  • Systematic desensitization or exposure therapy may be used. The is when you are asked to relax, then imagine the situation
  • Social skills training
  • Medicines such as sedatives (or hypnotics) or antidepressants may be prescribed by a doctor. It is important to emphasize that medicines should only be taken under a doctors direction.
  • Lifestyle changes may reduce how often attacks occur. For example, getting regular exercise, enough sleep, regular scheduled meals. Reducing or avoiding the use of caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines, and other stimulants.
  • Support groups.

In conclusion, the prognosis is often good news for the patients, and those who use either a combination of treatment and antidepressants also have good prognosis.

For more information about the services or any questions or concerns you may have please check out what Embracia Health Clinic offers, click on this link!

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