Social Anxiety Disorder, Symptoms & Treatments

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder, referred to as social phobia, this is a type of anxiety disorder that causes intense fear in social settings. People with this disorder have problem talking to people, meeting new people, and attending social gatherings. They fear being judged or examined by others. They may think that their fears are unreasonable or irrational, but feel powerless to overcome them. Social anxiety is not shyness.

Shyness is short-term and doesn’t disrupt one’s life. Social anxiety is debilitating as well as persistent. It can affect one’s ability to:

  1. Work
  2. Attend school
  3. Develop close relationships with people outside of their family

Physical symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:

a. blushing
b. nausea
c. excessive sweating
d. trembling or shaking
e. difficulty speaking
f. dizziness or lightheadedness
g. rapid heart rate

Psychological symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:

  1. worrying intensely about social situations
  2. worrying for days or weeks before an event
  3. avoiding social situations or trying to blend into the background if they must attend
  4. worrying about embarrassing oneself in a social situation
  5. worrying that other people will notice you are stressed or nervous
  6. needing alcohol to face a social situation
  7. missing school or work because of anxiety

It is quite normal to sometimes feel the anxiousness. But in case of social phobia, you have a constant fear of being judged by others or humiliated in front of them. You may avoid all social situations, including:

1 .asking a question

  1. job interviews
  2. shopping
  3. using public restrooms
  4. talking on the phone
  5. eating in public

Make it clear that symptoms of social anxiety may or may not occur in all situations. someone can have limited or selective anxiety. For example, symptoms may only trigger while eating in front of people or talking to strangers. Only in extreme cases symptoms can trigger in all social settings.

What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?

The proper cause of social phobia is unknown. However, researches coined the idea that it is caused by a combination of genetic or environmental factors. Negative experiences also may contribute to this disorder, including:

  1. Bullying
  2. Family conflict
  3. Sexual abuse

Physical abnormalities such as a serotonin imbalance may contribute to this condition. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood. An overactive amygdala (a structure in the brain that controls fear response and feelings or thoughts of anxiety) may also cause these disorders.

Anxiety disorders can run in families. However, researchers aren’t sure if they’re actually linked to genetic factors. For example, a child might develop an anxiety disorder by learning the behavior of one of their parents who has an anxiety disorder. Children can also develop anxiety disorders as a result of being raised in controlling or overprotective environments.

Diagnosing Social Anxiety Disorder:-

No medical test available to check for social anxiety disorder. The trained psychiatrist will diagnose social phobia from a description of your symptoms. Psychiatrist can also diagnose social phobia after examining certain behavioral patterns.

Book your appointment with Dr. Sagnik Mukherjee, neuropsychiatrist in Kolkata During your appointment, Doctor will ask you to explain your symptoms. They will also ask you to talk about situations that cause your symptoms. The criteria for social anxiety disorder includes:

  1. a constant fear of social situations due to fear of humiliation or embarrassment
  2. feeling anxious or panicky before a social interaction
  3. a realization that your fears are unreasonable
  4. anxiety that disrupts daily living

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