Symptoms, effects and treatment of social anxiety disorder and social phobia

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is one of the most commonly occurring psychiatric disorders characterized by intense fear, overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in day-to-day life. Social phobia is nothing but the extreme fear of being observed, judged or public embarrassment. However, by understanding the situation properly you can overcome this disorder.

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Triggers:

Social phobia is very common and many people fall prey to it; however, the situations that cause the problem may vary from person to person.

Meeting strangers, being on a date, public speaking, stage performances, being teased, attending parties and speaking up in meetings or even eating and drinking in public are some of the various triggers of social phobia.

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Symptoms:

The symptoms of social disorder can be –

Emotional: over self-consciousness, over anxiety, intense worry for several days for an upcoming situation, extreme fear of being observed, fear of embarrassment and humiliation, etc.

Physical: Blushing, shortness of breath, stomach upset, trembling, raced heartbeats, sweating, hot flashes and feeling of dizziness.

Behavioral: Trying to stay away from social situations, hiding in order to escape from being noticed, always searching for a companion to go anywhere and drinking in order to soothe the nerves.

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Treatments:

Challenging negative thoughts: A person suffering from social anxiety is likely to be overwhelmed with negative ideas and thoughts. You should stop thinking that people are noticing you, predicting the future that something bad will happen, and assuming that you are the centre of people’s negative attraction. Instead, you should try to observe your surrounding and listen to others rather than your own negative inner self.

Learn to control your breath: One of the most common changes that you observe while being nervous is the increase in your breath. This over breathing leads to dizziness, suffocation, increased heart rate and muscle tension. You should try to practice deep breathing exercise wherein you sit back relaxed and comfortable , inhale air, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale and repeat the same process for a couple of times.

Face your fears: Instead of running from problems, you should try to face them, as it will help you to avoid social anxiety disorder.

Build better relations: You could join social activities where you will be able to interact with people and be friends with them.

Change your way of life: Try to avoid smoking and stimulants like coffee, tea, caffeinated soda and alcohol, and have a good sleep.

Summary:

There are even therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy that would help in treatment of social phobia. Remember where there is a will there is a way and you can easily overcome your anxiousness and fear.

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