Most people feel a little anxious in certain social situations such as speaking in front of a group, meeting new people or going on a first date. For those with social anxiety disorder, these types of situations can be so uncomfortable that they avoid them all together. While the average person can get through social situations that make them a little nervous, someone with social anxiety might feel so panicked that they feel they can’t handle them at all.
Social anxiety can make even normal types of social interactions such as eye contact and small talk incredibly uncomfortable. Even though social anxiety can be crippling it is actually one of the most common mental disorders and it is treatable. People with social anxiety need to be able to recognize when their behavior has gone past simply being shy and is starting to interfere with their life.
People with social anxiety can find many situations too difficult that the average person may not even think about. Things like talking to strangers, entering rooms, using public restrooms, eating in front of other people, starting conversations and going to parties can make them feel extremely anxious. They experience anxiety in these situations because of an overwhelming fear of being judged or embarrassed.
Social anxiety that is very severe can make it hard for people to even leave the house or go to the store in some cases. Their anxiety gives them feelings such as racing heartbeat, tense muscles, dizziness, stomach pains or feeling out of breath. When these sensations occur it can seem easier for the individual to avoid the things that trigger them.
Treating social anxiety can mean helping people with these fears overcome them gradually by facing the situations that make them anxious. A combination of medication and psychotherapy can be helpful in diminishing some of the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.
If you feel your anxiety or a loved one’s has gotten out of control please call us today to see if treatment is needed.