Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a longstanding and excessive fear of social situations.

How we feel, think, and behave in social situations varies from person to person depending on our personality traits, upbringing, and life experiences. Some people are naturally reserved and shy whereas others might be more outgoing and extrovert, but anyone can have a SAD.

Prevalence

The average age of onset of SAD is between 10 to 13 years, and SAD is rarely diagnosed after the age of 25. SAD affects men and women equally at a male to female ratio of approximately 1:1.

Psychological and Physical symptoms:

SAD is a mental illness characterized by:

Psychological symptoms such as:

  • Fear of situations that you may be judged
  • Worrying that you will embarrass and humiliate yourself
Physical symptoms such as:

  • Palpitations (an awareness of your heart beating faster than usual)
  • Shortness of breath
  • A churning sensation in your stomach

Causes

The cause of SAD is not fully understood, but many professionals suspect:

  • The part of the brain that regulates emotions
  • Local weather patterns — such as few daylight hours and constant rain

Those with an increased risk of developing SAD include those with:

  • A shy temperament
  • A health condition that attracts attention such as facial disfigurement
  • A family history of SAD
SAD often coexists with other mental health conditions such as clinical depression and avoidant personality disorder.

Social Anxiety complications

SAD can have a profoundly negative effect on a person’s quality of life and can cause severe impairment in other important areas of functioning — social skills, learning, and job performance. People with SAD often cope by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. SAD is also associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Treatment for Social Anxiety:

The two most common types of treatment for SAD are

  • Medications – antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and sedatives such as benzodiazepines
  • Talking therapy – such as cognitive behavioral therapy

Psychological and Physical symptoms:

SAD is a mental illness characterized by:

Psychological symptoms such as:

  • Fear of situations that you may be judged
  • Worrying that you will embarrass and humiliate yourself
Physical symptoms such as:

  • Palpitations (an awareness of your heart beating faster than usual)
  • Shortness of breath
  • A churning sensation in your stomach

Causes of Social Anxiety

The cause of SAD is not fully understood, but many professionals suspect:

  • The part of the brain that regulates emotions
  • Local weather patterns — such as few daylight hours and constant rain

Those with an increased risk of developing SAD include those with:

  • A shy temperament
  • A health condition that attracts attention such as facial disfigurement
  • A family history of SAD
SAD often coexists with other mental health conditions such as clinical depression and avoidant personality disorder.

Social Anxiety complications:

SAD can have a profoundly negative effect on a person’s quality of life and can cause severe impairment in other important areas of functioning — social skills, learning, and job performance. People with SAD often cope by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. SAD is also associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Treatment for Social Anxiety:

The two most common types of treatment for SAD are

  • Medications – antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and sedatives such as benzodiazepines
  • Talking therapy – such as cognitive behavioral therapy
Source MAYO CLINIC