Everything you Need to Know about Social Anxiety

Feeling restless or extremely insecure before some situations in life is completely normal, if it does not occur too often. We all have experienced it at one point or another, and the thing is that anxiety is a defense mechanism before situations that our mind may see as a threat. Thus, it is something that happens to all of us and it cannot be avoided; it helps us reacting depending on the risk that we are confronting.

Thus, we could say that anxiety does not represent any problem or issue for our health. Nevertheless, this defense mechanism does not always work correctly. It may be altered by different factors like: personality, lifestyle, biological factors, genetic factors, environment, learning factors, etc. And all of that may influence anxiety to the point of disabling us instead of helping us. That is when “Anxiety Disorder” becomes a problem. And one of the most common ones is Social Anxiety.

WHAT IS SOCIAL ANXIETY?

 

Social anxiety is the fear, discomfort, tenseness, agony, or big worry that a person may feel before social situations where they have to interact with other people, and where they may even be judged or evaluated by those people.

Some individuals, like me, are shy by nature, and that is not necessarily a sign of social disorder, since the level of discomfort before social situations will depend on the personality of each one of us. Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind the fear, anxiety, and evasion that may interfere in the daily routine of each individual to detect said disorder.

There are two types of social anxiety depending on the intensity of the symptoms and the limitation that they may generate:

  1. Generalized Type: It affects to any kind of social exposure and it is very disabling.
  2. Specific type: It affects a concrete activity, like talking in public, and it limits one functionality area, but it preserves the rest.

We can notice a social anxiety case by its numerous symptoms. 

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS

  • Fear before situations where the individual may be judged.
  • Agony for feeling humiliated.
  • Great fear when interacting with strangers.
  • Fear that everyone else notices that they are feeling anxious.
  • Fear of the physical symptoms that may cause discomfort, like blushing or trembling voice.
  • Stop doing some activities or stop talking to certain people due to the fear of feeling embarrassed.
  • Avoiding situations where they may be in the spotlight.
  • Feeling anxious in the moments prior comfronting a situation that scares them.
  • Identifying their flaws or issues after a social situation.
  • Expecting for the worst possible consequences after a negative social experience.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Blushing
  • Fast Heart Beats
  • Goosbumps
  • Sweat
  • Nausea or stomachache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Blank Mind
  • Muscle Tension

All of these symptoms may change over time, and although avoiding situations that may produce anxiety is a short-term solution, anxiety could be a long-term issue if they do not get the correct treatment.

In the most extreme cases, the subject may break any contact with the rest of people, even quitting their job, or leaving school or college. It is for that reason, that it is very important for those people that suffer from that disorder to see a professional that can help them recovering their social life, as well as loosing fear in certain situations.

Post made possible thanks to Noelia S. 

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