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Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

Mental and emotional health conditions can be debilitating. Fortunately, treatment is available for many of these conditions.

Social anxiety disorder can be especially difficult to deal with. So much of life involves interacting with others. Whether you work, go to school, or take care of a family, you may struggle with the social aspects of life, and this can lead to feelings of isolation and sadness.

This guide will help you better understand social anxiety disorder and the ways professionals can help you manage it.

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms of social anxiety disorder include an intense fear of judgment by other people. In many cases, people fear that others think negatively of them. The emotional investment in what others might think can be draining and often makes it difficult to be around other people.

Social anxiety disorder also comes with physical symptoms. These may include stuttering or blushing. Other physical symptoms include increased heart rate, sweating, and nausea.

Social Anxiety Disorder Triggers

Certain situations may commonly trigger social anxiety disorder. For instance, some people are triggered whenever they are introduced to new people, whereas others only feel the symptoms when they are asked to give a presentation.

Other disorder triggers may include being teased, feeling like the center of attention, attending formal meetings, and being asked to perform specific tasks. Some people struggle with eating in front of others, and others are unable to attend parties.

Dating is one area of life in which social anxiety can play a significant role. Many people find themselves avoiding relationships altogether because of the fear.

Social Anxiety Disorder Causes

The causes of social anxiety disorder are mostly unknown, but research suggests that the condition may run in families. While a specific genetic link is not yet known, the condition may be seen across multiple generations in the same lineage.

In some cases, social anxiety may be linked to an inexperience with social situations. People who have been socially sheltered or isolated may struggle to come out of their shells around new people.

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatments

Many different treatments are available for individuals living with social anxiety disorder. Professionals may recommend one of these plans of action.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most common forms of therapy used to treat social anxiety and similar disorders. This therapy relies on addressing thoughts and feelings as they translate into behaviors. The goal is to change the way your body reacts to social stimuli. This is accomplished through restructuring your thought processes to be more positive in regards to social situations. This, in turn, lessens the physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

Group behavioral therapy may also become a part of the treatment plan. Individuals with anxiety disorder may come together to discuss social anxiety issues and symptoms they experience each day.

Medication is also often helpful in treating social anxiety. Medication may be used to treat serotonin imbalances, for instance, which can be a cause of social anxiety disorder. In other cases, doctors may prescribe benzodiazepines, such as Xanax or Valium, which mitigate the symptoms of social anxiety disorder by slowing down the central nervous system.

Treating social anxiety is important. Without treatment, social anxiety can result in depression, low self-esteem, difficulty developing close relationships, and feelings of self-doubt and negativity. You may feel that the anxiety is becoming out of control without proper treatment.

Life Adjustment Team understands the difficult nature of social anxiety disorder. When life hands you questions, you can seek the answers. Call today to see what our team can do for you and your social anxiety disorder.