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Social Phobia

Social Phobia

Social anxiety disorder or also known as social phobia, makes everyday interactions result in anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment since you fear being judged by others.

About

Social Phobia is a chronic mental health condition, but can be treated with medications, psychological counseling, and learning how to master coping skills, to help improve your confidence and ability to engage with other people.

Symptoms

Social anxiety disorder includes the avoidance of social interactions, anxiety, nervousness, and fear. These can take a toll on your daily routines, such as going to work or school. Emotional and behavioral symptoms of social phobia include:
  • Constantly worrying about humiliating or embarrassing yourself
  • Fear that others will notice you look nervous or anxious
  • Increased fear of having interactions or conversations with strangers
  • Physical symptoms that include; sweating, blushing, trembling, and having a shaky voice.
  • Avoiding tasks having to do with speaking to people
  • Expecting the worst possible outcome from a negative experience during a social interaction
  • Analyzing your actions and acknowledging your flaws
Crying, having tantrums, or not speaking during social interactive situations can be symptoms found in children. Physical symptoms can occur alongside social anxiety disorder, these symptoms may include:
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Feeling winded, or having a hard time catching your breath
  • Lightheadedness or feeling dizzy
  • Confusion
  • Muscle tensions
  • Diarrhea
Avoiding normal social situations are common for someone who is suffering from social phobia. Some of these avoidances include:
  • Making eye contact
  • Dating
  • Missing school, or work
  • Returning items to a store
  • Using public facilities
  • Interacting with strangers
  • Eating in front of others
  • Starting conversations
  • Entering a room in which people are already seated.

Causes

Social anxiety disorder is usually a result from an interaction of environment and genes. Possible causes include: Inherited traits - Anxiety disorders are shown to run in families. Although it isn’t clear how much is due to genetics, and how much is due to learned behaviors. Brain structure - The amygdala (uh-mig-duh-la) can possibly play a role in being able to control fear. People who have an overactive amygdala can experience a heighted fear response, increasing anxiety in social settings. Environment - After witnessing the anxious behaviors of others, you can possibly develop social anxiety disorder since this can be a learned behavior. There are many associations between this anxiety disorder and over protective or controlling parents.

Treatment

Psychotherapy and medications are the most common methods to help reduce the symptoms and fear that comes with having social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Psychotherapy Psychotherapy counseling helps improve the symptoms caused by social anxiety disorders. During therapy sessions you learn to understand and correct any negative thoughts you may contain about yourself and to develop skills to increase confidence within yourself during social activities. Cognitive behavioral therapy is highly recommended type of counseling for those who suffer from social phobia. This type of therapy helps to improve your coping skills and helps to develop the confidence to deal with the anxiety-inducing occurrences. Medications There are various types of medications that can be used to treat social phobias. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually the first type of medication that is prescribed for persistent symptoms. To reduce any possible side effects your doctor might start you at a low dose of medication and slowly increase the dose to the full amount. Other Medications Other medications may also be prescribed to help ease symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Some of these medications can include:

  • A variety of different antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Beta blockers
Some medications take some trial and error, if you find you do not like the medication you are on, you should talk to your doctor about other options until you can find the correct form of treatment that works for you.