Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

If you’re struggling with social anxiety, you might want to know what the typical social anxiety disorder symptoms are. Social anxiety disorder, also referred to as social phobia, is an extreme fear of getting severely anxious and/or getting humiliated in social settings. Specifically, it is the fear of embarrassing yourself before an audience. Sufferers tend to think that others are much better than them in terms of social interaction such as public speaking and general mingling.

They lay more emphasis on gritty aspects of their social conversations and blow them out of proportion. Blushing can be very embarrassing to a person suffering from this disorder and they normally feel as if all the eyes in an audience are fixated on them.

Shyness is sometimes confused with this disorder, but mildly shy people do not usually fall into this category. In some extreme cases social anxiety disorder sufferers can fear using public restrooms and speaking on the phone in front of others.

However, other people with this condition can feel very relaxed with certain people, but get very anxious in particular situations, such as when giving speeches. This condition has the capacity to disrupt normal lifestyles and interfere with social relationships and careers by causing them to turn down promotions.

Social anxiety disorder symptoms

1. A heightened fear of social situations. This causes general withdrawal as sufferers tend to think that they will embarrass or humiliate themselves and make people think that they are foolish or incapable. Some people suffering from this disorder only fear specific situations where they will be the center of other people's attraction. These people can get very anxious when giving presentations or participating in discussions.

2. Sufferers can have a lengthened period of anxiety before a social event or at functions where they are set to take part in the proceedings.

3. They can get extremely self-conscious when with other people.

4. They can get very worried about the attendance of an event.

5. Sufferers have a difficult time in making and keeping friends.

6. They can get very fidgety and tremble when with other people.

Social anxiety disorder diagnosis and treatment

For a conclusive diagnosis to be made, three criteria have to be fulfilled

  • The symptoms have to be not as a result of any other condition, whether mental or delusional.
  • Anxiety has to be felt predominantly in social settings.
  • One of the symptoms has to be the avoidance of social settings

Treatment options include:

1. Cognitive and behavioral therapy can be administered to the patient.

 Cognitive therapy is done by a therapist and seeks to instil in the patient that this condition is as a result of thought patterns which can be avoided. Thought patterns can be made more realistic and beneficial to the patient. Behavioral therapy seeks to change non beneficial behavior. Different techniques are applied, depending on the severity of the condition and its circumstances.

These methods can be blended to enable the patient benefit from altering both behavior and thoughts.

2. Self-help techniques

Help can be obtained from videos, books and audio recordings, which offer help on how to prevent anxiety. They help the user in mastering breathing techniques, among other measures of relieving anxiety and stress.

3. Antidepressant medication

These are the most popular medication for combating depression. They also help in reducing symptoms associated with anxiety. They do not work instantly, they may take a couple of weeks to notice some changes. The most commonly used antidepressants belong to the family of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Examples include Sertraline and Escitalopram.

4. Beta inhibitor medication

Medications such as propranolol can reduce some of the physical symptoms like palpitations and trembling. They have no direct effect on mental symptoms like worry. By reducing physical symptoms, this medication allows most people to easily relax.

5. Benzodiazepines

These are gentle tranquilizers which work excellently to reduce the major symptoms. However, they are very addictive and can become less and less effective if used over time.

 After taking a look at the most common social anxiety disorder symptoms, you should have a better idea of whether you suffer from the disorder or not.  It is best to see a mental health professional in order for an assessment and discussion of your symptoms. Therefore, if you do need some help, the therapist will be able to discuss treatment options.

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