Fear and anxiety every once in a while is a natural part of the emotional process, and most people are able to experience those feelings without it escalating into something more serious. For those who suffer from social phobias, however, it can be a complex illness that requires immediate and ongoing social anxiety treatment. Social anxiety for some people is a case of nervous energy before a party or a first date. When you suffer from social anxiety, your entire life grinds to a halt and you’re unable to participate in social situations.
Social Anxiety Treatment and Definition
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety disorder is a condition that starts when people are young. It prevents individuals from comfortably engaging with other people out of fear that they will be judged or ridiculed. Researchers have been studying the mechanics of the brain in order to come up with more effective social anxiety treatment options. It seems that this disorder is not only triggered by a neurological function, but also by stress and environmental factors.
If you have been diagnosed with social anxiety or social phobia, you feel an overwhelming sense of embarrassment and humiliation when you’re around others. You’re self conscious and fearful.In some cases, social phobia is restricted to one kind of social setting; school functions or a particular group of people. In those cases, social anxiety treatment is focused on that specific situation. For others, however, the anxiety is present in every possible social setting, making treatment a bit more complex.
Symptoms and Social Anxiety Treatment
The symptoms of social anxiety depend on the person who is experiencing it. Most mental health issues are not one-size-fits-all. The most common symptoms that would indicate you need social anxiety treatment include: wishing you could talk to people, but feeling unable to; intense fear that others are judging you; sweating, blushing or shaking around others; excessive worrying about going places where other people are; and, avoiding places that other people gather and social situations.
Sometimes, the symptoms are so overwhelming that you cannot continue with the regular responsibilities of your daily life. It might become impossible to go to work or school. You may find you’re unable to have social or romantic relationships, and you will feel alone, helpless and embarrassed. While most people who suffer from this realize they need social anxiety treatment, seeking that treatment can present its own challenges, because it means engaging with others and reaching out to the very people that seem terrifying.
Social Anxiety Risk Factors
There may be a genetic link when it comes to understanding who is at risk for social anxiety. It affects both men and women, and there are often other mental health issues at play, such as other anxiety disorders, an inability to manage stress and a proclivity to depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 15 million people suffer from this. People begin to feel the symptoms of social anxiety at around 13 years of age. Therefore, the disorder can often be mistaken for shyness or typical teenage behavior.
Social Anxiety Treatment Options
Before it can be treated, social phobia needs to be diagnosed. Trained doctors and mental health professionals can diagnose the condition when a pattern of behavior is observed and doesn’t change for many months. Research is ongoing when it comes to determining the best social anxiety treatment, and there are several different treatment plans that doctors recommend. If you think you have social anxiety, talk to someone as soon as possible. The faster you begin treatment, the better your chances of managing the condition.
Psychotherapy is a major part of social anxiety treatment. Specifically, cognitive behavior therapy is an effective way to get to the roots of this disorder. With the help of a therapist, the individual will talk about the feelings and situations that are so terrifying, and learn ways to cope. This type of therapy is also useful because it helps to train people who need help adopting social skills.
Some doctors prescribe medication as a social anxiety treatment. This might work well if there are other problems, such as depression, that a patient is managing. Anti-depressants are thought to be more effective at treating social phobia than anti-anxiety medications.
Becoming nervous before you give a speech or dreading a social event where you won’t know anyone is understandable. However, when it becomes an actual terror, you need to seek social anxiety treatment. In order to live a full and happy life, it’s important to share events and emotions with other people. If you’re too frightened and anxious to even be around other people, the quality of your life is going to suffer. Take your mental and emotional health seriously and discuss treatment options with your doctor.