What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and inferiority.
Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.
If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem.
Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is a much more common problem than past estimates have led us to think. Millions of people all over the world suffer from this devastating and traumatic problem every day, either from a specific social anxiety or from a more generalized social anxiety.
A specific social anxiety would be the fear of speaking in front of groups, whereas generalized social phobia indicates that the person is anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all social situations.
People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:
Being introduced to other people
Being teased or criticized
Being the center of attention
Being watched while doing something
Meeting people in authority ("important people")
Most social encounters, especially with strangers
Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something
This list is certainly not a complete list of symptoms -- other feelings may be associated with social anxiety as well.
The physiological manifestations that accompany social anxiety may include intense fear, racing heart, turning red or blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, swallowing with difficulty, and muscle twitches.
Constant, intense anxiety that does not go away is the most common feature.
People with social anxiety disorder know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make "head" sense. Nevertheless, "knowing" something is never the same thing as "believing" and "feeling" something. Thus, in people with social anxiety, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away despite the fact that socially-anxious people "face their fears" every day of their lives. Only the appropriate therapy works on this, the largest anxiety disorder, the one that few people know anything about.
The good news is that cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety has been markedly successful. People who have had this anxiety problem for long periods of time have blossomed while in therapy. After cognitive-behavioral therapy, people with this problem report a changed life -- one that is no longer controlled by fear and anxiety.
Social anxiety, as well as the other anxiety problems, can be successfully treated. In seeking help for this problem, search for a specialist -- someone who understands this problem well and knows how to treat it.
Hypnotherapy, Psychoanalysis can help remove the originating cause for social anxiety. Please contact Steve McKeown for more information. All conversations are private and confidential.
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