Social Anxiety Disorder

by emeraldmile

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder? How is Social Anxiety Disorder Treated?

What is Social Anixety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder Definition

Have you heard about Social Anxiety Disorder?  Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with the disorder? Social Anxiety Disorder is not a fear of people or groups of people. What social phobics or anxiety suffers suffer from is a fear of criticism or rejection by olthers in social situations. For example, Fred suffers from social anxiety disorder. When he talks to someone in authority his stomache cramps and his face turns beat red.  He fears his boss must think he is weak because he cannot hold a coversation without stammering or looking like a tomato.  In fact, his boss is probably laughing behind his back with his co-workers.  Fred thinks everyone must think he is stupid, and he probably is anyway if he cannot hold a simple conversation. Fred is a typical social phobic with a specific social anxiety disorder.  In every other aspect of his life he is able to communicate fine.  It's just this one type of situation that causes him anxiety.

There are actually two main groups of social phobics.  The specific social anxiety disorder sufferer has anxiety in one or two areas while generalized social phobics have issues in a large number of social reactions.


Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

How can you tell if somone has Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms can be classified in three areas of symptoms: Bodily, Cognitive and Behavioral.

Bodily Symptoms

Reactions that your body undergoes when faced with the fear of social rejection. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Red Faced or Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Stomach aches
  • Dizziness or feeling short of breath


Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive Symptoms refer to the thoughts that follow a bodily reaction.  These thoughts primarily deal with how you think you should have acted in the social situation.  These thoughts forcus on what you did wrong and help reinforce your maladaptive beliefs about yourself and social interactions. Some cognitive symptoms sound like this:

  • I  sound stupid.
  • I'll never be accepted with in the group
  • I never do anything right
  • I look like an idiot.


Behavioral Symptoms

Behavioral symptoms are a response to your anxiety and how you interpret your social history and anxiety signals.  Some people freeze, some avoid distressing situations, or some endure them with the aid of drugs and alcohol.


Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder

How to make Social Anxiety Disorder Vanish

Some people with social anxiety disorder respond well to medication, while others take a more natural appraoch with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Groups, but a large number respond well utilizing the two togehter.

CBT is made up of a group of social anxiety patients, and one or two group leaders.  Together you look at your symptoms and make small goals in dealing with your anxiety reaction.  You will be expected to set out goals and slowily expose yourself to anxiety inducing situations.  This process is called expossure therapy.

The CBT group itself may cause stress to the social phobic who feels anxiety just participating in a social setting.  The hardest step is overcoming the anxiety and making it to the first couple of meetings.  Most people find its helps not feel isolated with the disease.  After all, you will find people who are dealing with the same distressing symptoms you do.  For some, it will be the first oppertunity for them to understand that they are not the only one suffering from social anxiety disorder.

Recommended Reading on Social Anxiety Disorder

Books about Social Anxiety Disorder

Online Social Anxiety Disorder Reading and Help

Free Social Anxiety Disorder Resources

Social Anxiety Disorder
Learn more about Social Anxiety Disorder: symptoms, treatments, goal setting and more.

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder
A site about Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms, treatment and research.

National Institute of Mental Health
information on Social Anxiety Disorder as well as links where you can find help.

Social Anxiety Support
Social Anxiety Disorder forum where you can share experiences with the disorder and find others dealing with the same symptoms as you.

Updated: 08/16/2011, emeraldmile
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Your thoughts on Social Anxiety Disorder

sheilamarie on 07/27/2011

Thanks for shedding light on this problem.

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