The social phobia is a disorder quite often significantly affects people because it hinders social relations and the development of a normal life on a day to day. The social anxiety is manifested in different ways, depending on the extent to which it suffers and personal circumstances of each individual, but in all cases generates a state of deep discomfort when interacting with others.
What is social anxiety
This disorder is a mental health problem that consists of constant worry and fear of being judged by others, for being observed and for not being able to fulfill the obligations of living with other people. Social anxiety is not a problem of simple shyness and it comes to significantly limit the person who suffers from it.
It is a relatively common problem, although it is somewhat stigmatized, so it is not common to talk about it. Those who suffer from this disease can suffer a real terror when they are presented with circumstances such as having to meet new people, love dates, go to a job interview or have to do some face-to-face procedure. This constant fear of being judged or humiliated negatively interferes with the patient’s ability to normalize their day-to-day life.
People with social phobia tend to want to control everything , and stop doing things or going to places where they are not sure of having everything under control, they do not like improvisation when it involves relating to others, for fear of failing and seeing each other ashamed.
It is important that people who live with someone affected by this disorder understand what social anxiety is and do not downplay or belittle the patient, as their symptoms could worsen. Likewise, it is essential that the affected person receive professional help to overcome the disorder.
What are the symptoms of social phobia
The symptoms of social anxiety may vary from one person to another. In general, they are usually visible due to the fear experienced when being accompanied by people or due to the proximity of social activity. Among the most common manifestations of this disorder can be found the following:
- Flushing, sweating, shaking, palpitations, or having a mental block.
- Noticing some stomach upset, even nausea.
- Speak very quietly and avoid eye contact with people.
- Having an excessively rigid posture.
- Having trouble talking to people, especially strangers, even wanting to do so.
- Feeling ridiculous or awkward in front of others.
- Be afraid of being judged by the rest.
- Avoid crowded places.
What is social phobia disorder?
Some studies indicate that this disorder may have a hereditary origin. However, it is unknown why some members of the same family can suffer from it while others do not. Both anxiety and fear involve different areas of the brain and, according to some researchers, social anxiety may be due to a misinterpretation of other people’s reactions, as well as the failure to develop normal social skills . The stress is also presented as a possible trigger factor or empeorante this problem.
How to treat social anxiety disorder
Given the suspicion of suffering from this disorder, it is important to speak with the family doctor so that he can assess it and, if deemed appropriate, refer the patient to a specialist. The doctor will rule out other problems that may be causing the symptoms before transferring you to a mental health specialist.
Typically, social anxiety disorders are treated with psychotherapy , medication, or both, depending on the circumstances of each patient.
The cognitive-behavioral therapy has been presented as a very useful solution in the treatment of this disorder. It teaches the patient to be able to react positively to situations that generate stress, as well as to overcome the fear of social interactions, especially unfamiliar ones. It is a type of re – education that aims to enable the person to provide them with resources that normalize their interpersonal relationships, despite the fear they produce.
Support groups are also usually highly recommended, since being surrounded by people in the same situation can contribute to destigmatize the problem, as well as favor their integration.
In some cases, it is necessary to medicate the patient to minimize anxiety and fear. The most common medications for social disorder are anxiolytics, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.
The anxiolytic act quickly and offer lower anxiety symptoms almost immediately. They are useful for specific moments or strong crises, but they cannot be used for a long period of time, since they develop tolerance.
The antidepressants , as well as to treat depression, are widely used in cases of social phobia. Its effects are appreciated in the medium term and must follow strict medical control due to its side effects.
The beta blockers help prevent heart pounding rapids, tremors and sweating. They are indicated for anxiety associated with performance.
Most people with this problem improve after a psychotherapy treatment combined with medication. These treatments require a certain period of time to elapse before you can appreciate their results, so it is important to have patience and a lot of consistency .
A daily work on the part of the patient will help him to overcome the disorder and lead a normal life. If you want to abandon the treatment, it is important not to do it yourself, but to discuss it with your doctor or psychotherapist to gradually reduce it. Radically stopping medication can cause many side effects or even a rebound effect .
The social anxiety has a solution, it is only necessary to overcome the shame and consult a doctor, a mental health specialist or even a social worker who can guide the person. Afterwards, the joint work and the perseverance of the patient will make the difference in overcoming this social disability.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.