Social anxiety is excessive fear of embarrassment and humiliation in social situations and interactions with strangers that can have debilitating effects on the personal and professional relationships and bring on feelings of self consciousness, evaluation, judgment and inferiority and in some cases may cause panic attacks. This disorder is also termed as social phobia and these people remain conspicuous by their absence in social events and gatherings
In some cases the cause for this disorder is unknown, the causes for this disorder is unknown. In some cases researchers have figured out the below given causes:
- Genetic: Studies have shown just like diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, social anxiety can also be inherited. Dr. Jerome Kagan of Harvard University has claimed that social anxiety may have a genetic root. He observed that children who had shy parents were more likely to be shy and an introvert, all their life.
- Physiological: Dr. Kagan also proved that children who had a high resting heart rate were more likely to suffer from social anxiety. When the child was stressed, their resting heart rates rose even higher.
- Chemical imbalance: Improper balance of chemicals in the brain can bring about this disorder. An imbalance in certain neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) affect the way a person reacts in different situations.
- Emotional upheaval: Some situations which were traumatic and stressful, such as death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, or accident can also lead to this disorder. All the symptoms of this disorder aggravate during stress, intake of alcohol, addictives, caffeine and nicotine.
The symptoms of social anxiety disorders are classified into physical and psychological:
Physical : The physical symptoms are-
- Fast and loud pounding of the heart
- Stuttering and stammering while talking
- Breathing fast
- Sudden break of sweat especially on the face and palms
- Nausea, vomiting and indigestion
- Dry mouth
- Visible trembling and shaking of the body
- Tension in the muscles
- Feeling dizzy, as if things will black out
- Twitching of the jaws
Psychological : The psychological symptoms are-
- Worrying and brooding for days at a stretch about an upcoming event.
- Anxious and worried while meeting people, worried about being scrutinized and judged.
- Extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations
- Fear of embarrassment and humiliation.
- Avoiding social situations to the extent of developing a phobia of going out or meeting new people.
Certain medications such as tranquilizers and medical counseling can help beat this disorder. Overcoming this disorder can help people move out of the shell, give better interviews and enjoy a better social standing. The following tips help to overcome it in a big way.
- Be positive: It’s important that you fight off your negative thoughts and develop a better understanding about your life. Just being optimistic can be helpful in a big manner
- Accept yourself: Instead of looking at your flaws and worrying about other judging you, accept your flaws. This will boost your confidence.
- Stop being judgmental: All the worries of the world do not rest on your shoulders so there is no need to judge yourself harshly. Stop judging yourself on the basis of your looks and achievements. If you let yourself be, so will the others.
- Breath: In sever cases social anxiety overtakes ones life. It time for them to learn breathing techniques. Breathing right helps to calm the mind, improves the blood circulation and helps to fight panic attacks better.
- Learn to relax: It’s important that you know what relaxes you. Bearing this in mind indulge in your hobby, read a book, do some gardening, talk to friends and family or do some meditation before going for an interview or social functions.
- Listen to music: A lot patients claim that soothing music helps them to relax and think rationally. So listen to some good music and push off the anxiety.
- Learn to manage your stress: You can’t run away from stress, so just learn to manage it better.
- Sleep well: The more you sleep, the better will your neurotransmitters perform and thus help you fight anxiety attacks better.
- Gets the bull by the horn: Stop avoiding the situations that trigger this disorder. The more you go for social functions, meet more new people, the better will be your response to this disorder as your confidence grows and social skills improve.