What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
i. Introduction Social Anxiety is a worldwide disorder that can affect anyone, no matter what ethnicity or gender they are. Social anxiety is an intense fear of social situations, especially when you are being judged or watched by others. Such as presentations, being the center of attention, public speaking, making phone calls or eating and drinking in front of others. I chose to study this topic because I find it interesting how certain social situations can cause fear in people.
Also, I show some symptoms of having social anxiety and I wish to learn more about this topic. Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia. It is defined as the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. It is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. This leads to feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, and depression. The person with social anxiety disorder may believe that all eyes are on him/her at all times.
Social situations that provoke social anxiety are eating or drinking in front of others, being the center of attention, public speaking, presentations, talking on the telephone and asking questions. People with this disorder will do whatever it takes to avoid social situations. The symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder are extreme self-consciousness, immense fear of being judged or watched, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sweating and trembling. ii. Overview There are many different perceptions about people with social anxiety. Statistics show that this disorder is the third largest mental disability in the world and can affect 19. million Americans at any time. Even though it can occur at any time in people’s lives, it happens most often in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Statistics also show that women are more likely to get diagnosed with Social Anxiety, than men. People who do have it are often seen by others as just being shy, uneasy or quiet. The people who are diagnosed with social anxiety may be conflicted by these perceptions, so they may fail to seek treatment. The problem is generally unheard and they may think that they are the only ones who suffer from it.
People who do seek treatment are often misdiagnosed and labeled as “personality disorder” or “manic depressive. ” This is because social anxiety is not well understood by the general public, or medical or health care professionals. Those with the disorder usually know that their anxiety, thoughts, and fears are irrational. They realize that it is angst and terror that they are experiencing. They know that people around them are not really judging them or evaluating them. They understand that everyone is not out to degrade or embarrass them.
But despite this logical knowledge and sense, they still continue to feel and believe differently, which causes thoughts and symptoms of anxiety usually persist with no indication of going away. People with social anxiety may usually experience extreme distress in some of these situations: when they are being introduced to other people, being teased or criticized, being the center of attention or meeting important people or authoritative people. Or by being watched while doing something, announcing something in a public situation and getting embarrassed easily.
Social anxiety may be selective. A person may have an extreme fear of one occasion, such as public speaking, but be perfectly comfortable in any other situation. People with a social phobia are nervous, anxious, and afraid about many social situations. Simply attending a business meeting or going to a party can be highly nerve wracking and intimidating. Although people with social anxiety want to be social with everyone else, their anxiety about not doing well in public is strong and hinders their efforts. They freeze up when they meet new people. ii. What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder? What Are The Symptoms? Knowing the exact causes of social anxiety is still an ongoing research and there is no single known cause. However, there are environmental and psychological factors that will play a role in its development. This development of this disorder can be from a humiliating experience the patient has experienced in the past. People diagnosed with social anxiety may have developed this disorder by seeing what has happened to someone else when that person has been embarrassed.
As mentioned before, there are also emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms of social anxiety. Emotional symptoms can range from fearing that other people will notice that you’re nervous, to worrying for days or weeks prior to a social situation. Physical symptoms are nausea, sweating, rapid heartbeat, feeling faint, trembling and shaking. The behavioral symptoms are avoiding any type of social situation to an extent where it disrupts your life and hiding “behind the scenes” to escape from being noticed. iv. Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
Two types of treatment may be used to help patients suffering from social anxiety. A certain type of therapy can be used, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it has proved to be effective in most cases. Medication is also useful in treatment. Antidepressant, such as MAOI’s, in contrast with CBT, is the most beneficial. Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium and Ativan are prescribed to people who have social anxiety to treat it. But research has shown that if the two treatments are not used together, success is only temporary.
Also, treatment must include a therapist and an active behavioral therapy group. Group therapy for social anxiety use CBT techniques includes role-playing and training of social skills. This group therapy uses acting or mock interviews to work on the social situations that will make you anxious. The most important steps in defeating social anxiety disorder is understanding, becoming aware of the problem, and committing to go through all treatments, including therapy. v. Conclusion I learned that Social Anxiety Disorder can affect millions of people at any given time.
I think I show signs of Social Anxiety Disorder because during social situations, such as presenting, I show the symptoms. I get anxious, shaky, nervous and rapid heartbeats. In my opinion, this is probably one of the worst mental disorders that someone can have, because it is so misunderstood and misdiagnosed. What makes the situation even more difficult is the fact that the disorder does not just come and go like other disorders. A person is faced with it every day of their life, every time they have to go out anywhere or are put in a situation where others are involved.
They have to deal with this all the time, until they are treated. Unfortunately, most people do not know that they have it. Without some kind of formal education, knowledge, or treatment, social anxiety continues to ruin their lives. And if they finally do try to seek help, chances are that they will not find. This is the reality for 19. 2 million Americans, but yet there is very little being done in the way of trying to help them realize that they are not just shy or introverted, they really have a problem. REFERENCES Websites: Stein MB, Stein DJ. Social anxiety disorder.
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