Social anxiety disorder also known as social phobia is a chronic mental health condition that causes irrational anxiety, fear, embarrassment and self-consciousness during social interactions for people affected by it. This mental health disorder is sometimes confused with Shyness, it however goes beyond shyness. All socially anxious people have different reasons for dreading certain situations. Most common reasons are the fear of;
- Being judged by others in social situations
- Being embarrassed or humiliated — and showing it by blushing, sweating, or shaking
- Accidentally offending someone
- Being the center of attention.
Social anxiety disorder comes with different symptoms which differed amongst people most times, these symptoms sometimes manifest themselves during events or social gatherings or even in preparations for this gatherings. Examples of symptoms are :
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle tension
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Stomach trouble and diarrhea
- Inability to catch breath
- Out-of-body sensation
Social anxiety does not have a specific cause, it can however be linked to an overactive amygdala, that is the aspect of the brain that controls fear response, It can be linked to a history of abuse, bullying, or teasing.
Social anxiety hinders people who are affected by it from taking part in activities that would be regarded as normal instead they view these activities as overbearing, they have little or no personal relationships and fail to understand why other people carry out activities with so much ease. As a result of these, they develop certain traits I.e
- Low self-esteem
- Negative thoughts
- Sensitivity to criticism
- Poor social skills that don’t improve
There are certain measures that can be taken to help with Social Anxiety both person and professional help, some tips that may help are:
- Try to gain an extensive understanding of your anxiety,be conscious of your reactions and behaviors in certain social situations to help you get a clearer idea of the problems you want to tackle.
- Try replacing your unrealistic beliefs with more rational ones.
- Try to not think too much about how others see you.
- Begin to put yourself out there more, start to do activities that you would normally avoid.
- Most importantly, Visit a Therapist.
Social anxiety disorder can be cured with the right steps and mindset. The first step towards tackling it is identifying your anxiety and being positive and affirmative towards changing.
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