Imagine a situation: you are attending a party and you spend your entire time thinking about how others are judging you- your dress, your social manners, your words, everything. You keep on judging yourself from the perspective of others.
This is how a person with Social Anxiety Disorder feels like. This is an extremely common condition and often, the most misunderstood. Social anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia is an extreme discomfort during any social interaction accompanied by a fear of being judged by others. Here are a few things that you didn’t know about this condition:
1. It is common
Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders.
2. It has physical symptoms
Social anxiety disorder affects a person both mentally and physically. The person might experience physical symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, shaking, and headache. This is more prominent during a panic attack.
3. It is linked to your genes
Biological factors are also responsible for such disorder. The genetic traits of the parents significantly influence the way your brain will feel and regulate shyness, anxiety, and stress.
4. It is more common in developed countries
Compared to developing nations, Anxiety Disorder, especially social anxiety disorder is more common in developed countries. The United States of America has the most number of people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. About 15 million people in America suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder. A person has 13% chance of developing this disorder throughout his/her lifetime.
5. Social Anxiety disorder is not Shyness
Many people mistake shyness for Social Anxiety disorder. There is a huge difference between shyness and this specific condition. While shy people might suffer from this condition, those person who are not shy can also suffer from this disorder. One of the major differences between Shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder is duration. While shyness is a passing phenomenon. Shy people may or may not feel anxiety once their initial concerns are taken care of.
6. Social Anxiety disorder can impact Teens
Teenagers usually suffer more from this disorder. According to Dr. Lisa Strohman, licensed clinical psychologist, teenagers tend to think that everyone is watching him/her. In such case, they become more conscious about themselves.
7. Life Experiences can trigger Social Anxiety disorder
People who are already shy and cautious by nature, become more shy and timid if they had negative experiences in life. People who are always criticised, tend to expect others to judge them always and as a result, they start to avoid contact with people.
8. Medication is beneficial for such condition
Anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants can help people with Social Anxiety disorder. These medicines reduce the intensity of the reactions in the patients.
This condition can be treated. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is considered one of the best ways to treat this condition. If you or any of your loved one is seeking social anxiety treatment, get in touch with us today at Moner Alo with Dr Tirthankar Dasgupta