Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety, or as it also classified, Social Phobia, is the extreme fear of being judged, analyzed and scrutinized by others in social or performance area situations.  The Anxiety and Depression Association of America claims that almost 15 million Americans suffer from some form of social anxiety disorder and typically the onset occurs when individuals have reached adolescence or 13 years of age.  While the biological cause of social anxiety disorder remains unclear, researchers agree that it can be hereditary but is not always genetic; usually the two parts of the brain that manage fear and anxiety misread cues from other individuals which results in the disorder.

Signs of social anxiety include sweating, trembling, blushing, rapid heart rate or a blank stare.  Others may feel nauseous or lose control of their bowels depending upon the level of severity of their social anxiety.  Generally, most individuals complain of feeling extremely self-conscious and an inability to maintain eye contact.  Therefore, those who suffer with social anxiety tend to struggle to develop appropriate professional and social relationships.  Then, sadly, these individuals tend to battle loneliness and feelings of powerlessness or shame.

Fortunately, a number of treatment options are available to those who suffer with social anxiety and many successfully overcome the multitude of symptoms.  Treatment offerings usually include psychotherapy in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), support groups or medication.  Most professionals encourage CBT so that patients can learn the necessary coping skills to help people experience relief in daily social and professional situations.

Social Anxiety does not have to limit individuals from positive social or professional interactions.  With the right understanding of the triggers, appropriate cognitive tools and potentially medication, patients can assume they will receive much needed relief from isolation and depression that the disorder can cause.

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