What is social anxiety disorder (SAD)
We all have a little feeling of being nervous within us and most of the time we able to handle it when we meet someone new or a group of new people or when we go for a presentation etc. For some people speaking in front of the group or being centre for attraction in any function, party etc is a thrill but many people not only feel shy but even into their dreams these types of activities are horrifying for them too. They cannot even think to deal with a gathering and meeting people like this.
The stress of these type of situations is when becomes unbearable for a person that is called social anxiety disorder and the person suffering from this disorder might avoid all social contact because things like normal talks or normal meeting with others make him or her uncomfortable. It affects all aspects of their life not only their social life.
Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders, and it is also known as social phobia too. If anyone has it there is always hope to get rid of this, by seeing a good doctor.
Now the question arises that how do we know if our social silence has gone beyond shyness to a point where we need to see a doctor. Here are the answers-
When Does Social Anxiety Disorder Happen?
Each and every person is different and reacts differently on certain things or situations but there are some common experiences or reactions that people with social anxiety disorder tend to have trouble with-
1. When meeting and talking to strangers
2. At the start of speaking in public, even in a smaller group too.
3. When they go to a special Date.
4. When others make eye to eye contact while talking to them.
5. When they try to enter a new place, campus or room.
6. During the use of public restrooms
7. When going to parties
8. When they try to eat something in front of other people.
9. When going to school or workplace
10. At the start of conversations.
Some of the above said situations might not cause a problem for everyone. Giving a speech may be easy for someone, but going to a party for the same person might be a nightmare. Or someone could be great at one on one conversation but might not at stepping into a crowded room.
Socially anxious people have their different reasons for dreading certain situations like fear of being judged by others in social situations, being embarrassed or humiliated, accidentally offending someone and being the centre of attention.
What Does Social Anxiety Disorder Feel Like?
As we said earlier that experiences differ from person to person, but if anyone is having the social anxiety and in a stressful situation, he might have some physical symptoms as listed below-
1. Change in heartbeat, sweating, shivering.
2. Losing command over his voice.
3. Stiffness in muscles
4. Lightheadedness and in worst case dizziness too.
5. Dryness in mouth
6. Stomach disorder, in severe condition diarrhoea too.
7. Out of breath
8. Blank mindedness
9. No control over the body.
10. Low confidence.
Generally, Person with this disorder start having symptoms right before an event and get anxious but there are so many cases where a person start worrying and get nervous weeks before the event or any meeting etc.
Causes of social anxiety disorder
There are no clear causes identified so far but it is believed that genetics plays an important role to create this disorder. If anyone has a history of social phobia in his family, he is at more risk.
Doctors say that social anxiety disorder could also be linked to an overactive amygdala. Amygdala is the part of the mind that controls our response of fear etc.
As per the study of cases, it has been observed that this disorder generally hits at the age of 12 to 14. At this age, most children face abuse, bullying, teasing and sexual and physical exploitation etc, so it is believed that these things force the over activation of the amygdala.
A person with a lot of shyness is also more likely to have this disorder. Strict parenting, bad health, low-income group, not having good marks or results, physically challenged, rejections, not having any skills, are some triggers could be associated with social anxiety too.
Treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD)
It can be cured and you can live a confident life just talk about your fears and consult a doctor. Doctors do some physical examinations and ask some question to determine whether it is a case of social anxiety or something else related to any physical illness. After the examination, he may advise you to consult an expert. This disorder is generally treated with the talk therapy, that talk therapy is called psychotherapy.