Understanding Social Anxiety Symptoms — Social anxiety disorder occurs when you become very anxious and overly self-conscious in what could be considered a normal social interaction. And, as a result, you suffer great emotional distress because you think that you are being judged and evaluated by other people.
Social anxiety symptoms are likely to manifest themselves in the following situations: 1) you meet someone for the first time, 2) you get teased or criticized, 3) you are aware of being watched while you are doing something, 4) you become the center of attention for an extended period of time, 5) you are introduced to someone who is in a position of authority, 6) you participate in an ice-breaking activity that requires you to speak, or 7) you are involved in some type of interpersonal relationship.
Now, while this list is pretty descriptive in giving you a general idea of what social disorder is, this list is by no means exhaustive. Most of the above situations will give rise to physical symptoms. You may sweat profusely, breathe fast, feel your heart pounding in your chest, and so on.
As a result of the above, you may find yourself practicing the following behaviors so that you remain ‘safe’: 1) Speaking quietly or mumbling so no-one can hear you 2) Speaking quickly so you can “get it out of the way” 3) Not wanting to say anything that disagrees with anyone else because everyone will then look at you and you will feel embarressed 4) Avoiding eye contact because you know you will go red (and if you go red everyone will notice which will make you blush even more!) … and so on.
If you seek professional medical help in dealing with your social anxiety symptoms, you may very well get prescribed either some type of medication and/or some type of psychotherapy or psychiatric therapy. The medications that are likely to be prescribed to you include, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (such as fluoxetine; tricyclics (such as imipramine); monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (such as phenelzine); high-potency benzodiazepines (such as clonazepam, and azapirone); and beta-blockers (such as propranolol).
The psychotherapy that is usually prescribed is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which is a very active and focused type of mental treatment. This particular therapy has been proven to be very successful in treating those who suffer with social anxiety. When you suffer from social disorder, it is not recommended that you force yourself to experience the types of social interactions that cause your distress.
At the same time, it is not recommended that you avoid them altogether either. Instead, you should take your time to slowly and gradually work yourself up to the place where you really see yourself being eventually. One of the ways to do this is to find a way to re-think your interactions. Next time you find yourself in a social situation and you are feeling a little anxious, change your thoughts. Look at the first situation above.
If you are about to meet someone, instead of thinking ‘they will find me boring and uninteresting’, change this to ‘I am going to give this person a warm smile and firm handshake. They will soon see what an interesting person I am.’ If you keep this up, these kind of positive thoughts will soon become second nature.
Also, you can help yourself deal with your social anxiety symptoms by using the following self-help strategies: try to avoid or limit your caffeine intake, moderate your alcoholic beverage intake, quit smoking, and get yourself adequate amounts of sleep. Do you feel sick or panic when you are surrounded by many people? Do you often find yourself is avoiding the eye contact or facing with strangers?
If yes, there is a high chance that you are suffering from social anxiety disorders. People who are suffered from social anxiety disorder tends to view everything in a pessimistic way. They are afraid of talking to any strangers, expressing themselves, and always find an excuse to avoid going to any social events; birthday party or prom night.
Do not get the wrong idea that these people hate socializing with people. In fact, these people want to be accepted by the society. It is just quite difficult for them as they tend to be panic and anxious when they are in the crowd. By all means, it is not being shy. It is mainly because they have the feeling that they will screw up and lead to embarrassment. As long as these thoughts lingering over their head, they will always in the state of anxious.
They cannot hold a decent conversation with people as they have a difficult time to come out with a proper words or sentences. This is the main reason why social anxiety disorder patients choose to avoid participating any social events or gathering.
Social Anxiety Symptoms
As for the social anxiety disorder symptoms, they are excess sweating, trembling, hard a time to take a breath, muscle pain, and cold hand. The triggers of the symptoms are variable. It can be going for a job interview, doing a presentation in front of the crowd, playing a competitive game or sport, eating at a public restaurant, or meeting the authority person.
The worst thing is some of them may not get an adequate sleep for many days before the actual events. Whether the actual event is tomorrow or next few weeks, they are already under the impression that they will screw up and embarrass themselves in front of everyone. In other word, social anxiety disorder is a serious mental disorder that prevents these people from doing the things that they want to do.
Fear not, social anxiety disorder can be treated. To overcome this disorder, you should seek help from the professional; at least before their anxiety disorder gets worse than usual. Also, you may even want to consider changing your lifestyle, appearance and dressing style.
This will boost your confidence and give a better impression to someone you may not know. In addition, it would be nice if you can limit yourself from eating any caffeine-based food or drinks, and alcohol. These foods can trigger anxiety disorders. Having a goodnight sleep is another natural way to increase your defense from any incoming anxiety attacks. People who are sleep deprived usually vulnerable to anxiety attacks.
You should never leave the anxiety disorder alone. If you realize that you are suffering from it, you should take action to stop it before it growing worse and starts to interrupt your life. Overcome or managing the anxiety disorder is never easy, but that does not mean that you should give up and let it do whatever it pleased.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social disorder, occurs when you become exceedingly anxious and self-conscious in normal social interactions. Social anxiety symptoms include, but are not limited to, experiencing emotional distress upon being introduced to new people; experiencing emotional distress while being watched by someone else while you are doing something; experiencing emotional distress while dealing with people in authority or with strangers; experiencing emotional distress due to interpersonal relationships; etc.
People who are normally perceived by others as being socially backward, unfriendly, nervous, disinterested, or aloof, are usually those who are suffering from social anxiety disorder. These people truly want to be friendly and socially normal, but they have difficulty doing so.
It has been said that the underlying cause of social anxiety disorder is believed to be an exaggerated shame response that few people with social anxiety symptoms adequately conceptualize. However, usually people with social anxiety disorder have experienced at least one traumatic incident in their lives that they interpreted as being intensely shameful to them.
Emotional distress is one of the main social anxiety symptoms. However, it manifests itself in a variety of ways depending on the dreaded situation which usually determined its severity and length and how it interferes with normal functioning. It can be limited to one particular type of event or can be broad in its display.
Generally speaking, social anxiety symptoms are usually treated with medication and/or psychotherapy. The medications usually prescribed are antidepressants; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (such as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Celexa); tricyclics (such as Tofranil and Anafranil); monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (such as Nardil, Marplan, and Parnate); high-potency benzodiazepines (such as Clonazepam, Xanax, and Ativan); and beta-blockers (such as Inderal). The psychotherapy that is usually prescribed is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT has been shown to be probably the best treatment for social anxiety. Research and also clinical evidence point to sufferers receiving long-term relief from symptoms and in most cases, permanent changes in the way they react in social situations. Therapy involves changing the way you perceive different social situations. Your brain creates a neural pathway to represent the way you react to specific situations.
Think of it as a path that has been cleared through a jungle. Your emotional distress in a social situation is that path. It is easier to go down that path next time you have to face a situation that causes you anxiety than clear a new path (representing a more appropriate response in a social situation). CBT helps re-train the brain to create new neural pathways, those new paths through the social jungle.
One thing that you can do to help yourself deal with your social anxiety symptoms is employ some self-help strategies that will supplement any professional help that you receive. One of the best ways to take this route is through some simple lifestyle changes. Some suggested lifestyle changes include: avoiding or limiting your caffeine intake, moderating your alcoholic beverage intake, quitting smoking, and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Another method involves using specific self-talk to induce better responses in social situations.