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Social Anxiety

What is Social Anxiety?

It is normal to feel nervous in social situations where we feel that we are under the attention of others, irrespective of whether they are people one knows or are strangers.
Attending a social gathering, giving a public speech, giving a presentation at a meeting, or giving a public speech, all these might cause a person to feel nervous and anxious, both during the build-up and during the event.
But, in the case of people with social anxiety performing any of these tasks may lead to feelings of intense phobia and worry. They are afraid that are going to be criticized, made fun of, judged, rejected, or humiliated in front of others, whether or not the situation is the most ordinary or every day in nature.
For example, eating at a restaurant with others in front of other people can become a daunting task for people with social anxiety or phobia.

Social Anxiety Can Occur In The Build-Up To Or During:

  • Performance situations, i.e., when having to asked to give a presentation or appearing for an examination.
  • Social interaction like going out for a meal with friends and family or trying to make small talk.

Social anxiety or phobia can also be specific where the person fears a specific situation like being assertive at work.

Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Symptoms of social anxiety are both physical and psychological. However, the physical symptoms are the ones that make the patient most uncomfortable. They include:
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Excessive trembling
  • Stammering or blushing when trying to speak
  • Diarrhea or nausea
The above symptoms also lead to further anxiety as the person feels that they are being noticed although in reality, they are hardly visible to anyone.

What Are The Causes Of Social Anxiety?

The following are some causes that might cause social phobia:

  • Temperament: Adolescents and teenagers who are socially inhibited or are shy are at the most risk of developing social anxiety. Also, children who are excessively clingy, shy, cries easily and are timid are at the most risk of developing this phobia.
  • Family history: Social anxiety can also run in the family history.
  • Bad experience in the past: Some patients diagnosed with this phobia attribute it to a bad experience that they had to go through in the past, like bullying, or public embarrassment.

What Are The Treatments Available For Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety or phobia is treatable and going for professional support is the first that needs to be taken. There are 2 types of treatment available, where psychological treatment is the 1st line of treatment, and medication is used only in severe cases.