Social anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety that is characterized by feelings of fear during social interactions and situations. It is more than simple shyness or nervousness of performing or speaking in front of a large audience. Referred to as social phobia, the person undergoing this problem has the severe fear of being judged, embarrassed, low self-esteem, and not performing up to the standards, such that the person avoids social interactions altogether from fear. This intense fear can cripple the person’s life in many ways. Social phobia requires patience and a combination of treatment methods to overcome it completely. This type of anxiety has become increasingly common in people who are connected to social networks and feel that every action of theirs is being scrutinized. It helps to understand the condition first and then opt for suitable therapy.
Causes Of Social Phobia
Social anxiety disorder has multiple theories that can be looked into for the causes. Some common causes include:
- Experiences, where the person has been put on a pedestal under embarrassing conditions, can mentally scar the person and trigger social anxiety disorder.
- The role of genetics has a major part to play in passing on this condition from one person to another close family member through heredity. The phobia can develop at any stage of life with the risk of it manifesting being high.
- This condition can also develop in persons who are unable to match up to culturally accepted standards of living in terms of finance and relationships.
- Persons who, under stress and depression, resort to alcohol and recreational drugs have a tendency to abuse the drugs.
- Sometimes the behavioral patterns of closely associated parents or friends can trigger social phobia. Overprotective parents or spouses, verbal abuse, physical abuse, lack of affection, and constant criticism can all cause a person to develop this anxiety condition.
Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder
If you feel that you are experiencing social anxiety disorder, then consult with your healthcare provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and commence therapy. Medications for anti-anxiety like Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, and anti-depressants like Prozac can significantly reduce the effects of social anxiety. Do not self-medicate as you may only temporarily treat the symptom but not take care of the root of the problem. Your therapist can help you join support groups where a shared forum can help you feel better about your condition. Other psychological and behavioral therapy will help immensely in overcoming social anxiety disorder.