Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder
otherwise known as social phobia, is a fear of social situations and
interaction with others such as in group activities, busy supermarkets
etc. It may also be a fear of talking to someone on the telephone.
What is social anxiety
Have you ever been standing in line at a supermarket queue, or sitting on
a bus and thought that everyone is looking at you? A person with social
anxiety disorder finds it hard to relax in public places such as work,
college, supermarkets. They feel like everyone is watching them and
judging them or even laughing at them.
Social anxiety is one of the largest mental health disorders in the world.
Affecting about 8% of the population.
When faced with going shopping, talking on the phone, or meeting
strangers, some people experience the following symptoms; blushing,
sweating, increased heart beat, trembling/shaking of the limbs, dry mouth
and in most cases an inability to speak.
Social anxiety disorder is sometimes mistaken for shyness and although
there are similar they are not the same. Someone who is shy may experience
anxiety but not on the same level as someone with social anxiety disorder.
Someone who is shy will not avoid a social situation because of the
anxiety they feel whereas someone with social anxiety disorder will.
Who is affected by social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder affects around 10-15% of people in the community
at some point in their lives. Anyone can get social anxiety disorder and
the condition usually starts during the early teens.
Effects of social anxiety disorder on your life:
Social anxiety can stop you living a normal socially active life. It can
effect what kind of job you go for. People with social anxiety disorder
will often work in jobs that get them away from other people, avoiding
contact with customers and work colleagues. Jobs with low pay and a low
amount of skills need even though they are capable of doing something more
rewarding. People with social anxiety find it hard meeting new people and
often are less likely of getting married or having a successful long term
relationship then people who are not affected by social anxiety disorder.
Treatment for social anxiety disorder
There are two mains ways of treating social anxiety disorder. One is to
get psychological treatment. The second is medication, there are several
different medications that can help. You doctor will discuss with you
which would be the best for you. It is sometimes recommended by
professionals to use both psychological treatment and medication.