What is Social Anxiety
Most of us will feel shy and self conscious on occasions like interview or seminar. When it becomes more intense and unreasonable, it limits social activities of a person and turned as social anxiety. It is a kind of social phobia in which the person feels an excessive and unreasonable fear of socail situations. Intense nervousness and self consciousness arises of a fear of being scrutinized, embarrassed or judged in public. It causes both physical and mental symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable.
Though the sufferers knows that their fear is overblown and irrational, they are helpless to shake it off. These people are usually well interactive with family and friends. but meeting new people, speaking in public or attending parties makes them more concerned and focused about their social performance which gets in their way of life and kick in. Instead of enjoying social activities, they might dread them and avoids altogether.
Causes of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is the most common type of anxiety disorder and millions of people around the world are suffering with this phobia. It can affect anybody of any age like teens, kids and adults. Biological makeup, life events and experiences are the two major factors. People can probably blame their ancestors as it run in families. Neurotransmitter serotonin is a special chemical messengers helps to pass information from nerves to brain. Lack of this transmitter, alters the reaction of brain towards stressful situation, leads to anxiety. Behavior learned from role models like parents. Overprotective or shy parents are unintentionally sets an example to avoid certain social situations. People who received constant disapproving or critical reaction may develop negative thoughts on social events.
How the body reacts to social anxiety
At the time of anxiety, our body experiences some physical symptoms as result of ‘fight-flight response’. Rush of hormone called adrenalin, prepares the body either to fight or getaway. This response is activated too frequently in persons with social anxiety. Most common physical symptoms are blushing or red face, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, chest pain and sweating. Some may experience mild to severe trembling, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea. Both nausea and stress turns the skin pale.
How it affects our life
Social anxiety is distressing and kills rejoice of the beautiful life. Human beings are social beings but unfortunately people are getting themselves isolated and house bound. Being hound bound, makes the people to feel lonely and disappointed on missed opportunities for fun and friendship, which paradoxically heightens the stress level. It prevents from chatting with friends, attending parties or joining an after-school clubs and so on. In schools, it keeps the person from reading aloud, volunteering an answer or giving a presentation. They may feel so shy to ask a question or to approach teacher for a help.
It makes impossible to show their talents and chances of new learning is in vein.
The world is highly competitive and fast moving. One should learn skills to thrive and survive. Social anxiety impairs one’s communication which is one of the most important aspect of day to day life and makes the people to freeze in their working environment, growth and achievement are in mystery unless they are ready to break their anxiety.
If anxiety is a learned behavior, it is certainly possible to unlearn it! Drinking before social situation to sooth nerves, staying quite or hiding in background, Avoiding social activities and being patched with buddies are not going to help to conquer anxiety. Being open to seek help is the success formula. There are several cognitive and behavioral therapies available to get rid of this phobia and to function maximum. In certain cases, anti anxiety medications are helpful. Medication and psychological therapy go hand in hand to treat social anxiety. Feel free and live maximum!