SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER

Social Anxiety Disorder (S.A.D.) is also known as Social Phobia. It is one of the major psychological disorders listed in the DSM-5. It leads to a fear of social situations that involve direct or indirect interactionS with other people. It is a permeating disorder that can have a negative impact on an individual’s life. According to the latest data of 2020, 15 Million adults spread across the globe were diagnosed with social anxiety.

Reasons that lead to Social Anxiety

  • Genetic risk factors such as, a family history of anxiety related issues
  • Domestic atmosphere of anxious behavioral traits
  • Having an overly reactive Amygdala in the brain
  • Having to adjust in a new atmosphere during adolescence
  • Early childhood experience of bullying, rejection, avoidance, domestic conflicts, sexual abuse, death of a loved one, etc

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Blank or a racing mind
  • Excessive sweating
  • Stomach upset or nauseating sensation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold tremors or shivering
  • Respiratory illness
  • Palpitations
  • Avoiding eye contact with people

BEHAVIOURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Intense worry about social situations (attending a party, going for a social gathering, hanging out with with peer, presenting a business presentation, etc)
  • Use of intoxicants (alchohol, drugs, smoking) to face a social situation
  • Experiencing anxiety several day before the social event
  • Thoughts of embarrassing oneself before a group of people or a person
  • Mind racing over thoughts of being judged negatively by people
  • Trying to spot flaws in one’s own actions or social performances
  • Intense fear of meeting new people and interacting with them
  • Fear of making mistakes, having a shaky voice during public interactions

Diagnosis of Social Anxiety

A mental health practitioner (Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Counseller) can diagnose a patient with social anxiety though a variety of methods.

Social anxiety can be determined through the following methods :

  • Listing out the situations that make the person anxious
  • Usage of techniques such as Questionnaires, Check lists, Survey to understand the symptoms experienced by the person
  • Applying the DSM-5 and ICD criterions to diagnose social anxiety

Treatment of Social Anxiety

  • Use of psychotherapy methods like personally interacting with the therapist about the problems faced by oneself and employing ways to generate happiness and overcoming the issue
  • Engaging in activities organized by support groups such as ADAA, Seven Cups of Tea, Daily Strength, etc
  • Pursuing hobbies that makes oneself elated (singing, dancing, sports, artwork,etc) and using one’s time constructively
  • Trained mental health practitioners may also suggest medications such as Antidepressents to regulate the levels of chemical messengers such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin in the body

Every year approximately 5 Million deaths occur due to anxiety and mood related disorders. Social Anxiety is not taken into possession by choice but varied circumstances leads to it. One must express concern and empathy towards any person known to face mental health related issues. Providing support and reassurance is much needed in such circumstances. Advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder proves that the future is still optimistic for those who suffer from it.

Categories: News

Tagged as: ,