Social Anxiety Disorder

In today’s blog I will be talking about a topic which is least talked about in our society. Make sure you read it till the end!

Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s more than shyness or introversion!

Table of Content

Are you self-conscious while doing everyday activities? Do you fear being judged by others?

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder (often shortened as “SAD“), also called Social Phobia is a mental health condition. It is an intense, persistent fear of being judged and watched by others.

Some people might not feel anxious in social situations but might have performance anxiety. For example, feeling symptoms of anxiety in situations like giving a speech, playing games, or dancing on stage.

What causes ‘SAD’?

It usually starts during youth in people who are extremely shy.

  • sometimes it might run in families,
  • underdeveloped social skills can lead to ‘SAD’,
  • misreading other’s behavior may have a role in worsening anxiety,
  • certain environmental factors.

There is no fixed cause for social anxiety disorder, however, researchers are exploring the possible causes which might lead to its development.

Symptoms of ‘SAD’?

There can be various symptoms indicating the presence of Social Anxiety Disorder. Some common symptoms are:

  • Immense anxiety or fear in meeting new people, being on job interview, answering questions in class, eating/drinking in front of others, or in starting conversations
  • Rigid body structure, little eye contact with others
  • Feeling conscious in front of other people
  • Feeling afraid that others will judge them
  • Feeling awkward or embarrassed in the presence of other people

These can be some of the common symptoms. If someone has been having these thoughts for at least 6 months then it is important that they need to know more about ‘SAD’ and visit a professional.

Introversion v/s Sadness!

Many people think that Introversion and Social Anxiety Disorder are same, or probably all the introverts have “SAD”.

However, that is not true. There is a vast difference between introverts and those suffering via SAD. Some of them are:

  • Introverts could be born with the trait of introversion. While, SAD mostly develops due to the environmental conditions.
  • Introverts get drained from social interactions, while people with SAD fear interacting with people.
  • Introverts prefer ‘alone-time’ or “Me-Time“, whereas those with SAD worry they are being judged by others.

Therefore, one should understand that “Introversion” and “SAD” are not the same!

How can ‘SAD’ affect an individual?

Social Anxiety comes with certain disadvantages and side-effects for the individuals having it. It can lead to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Chain of negative-thoughts
  • Sensitivity to criticisms
  • Poor social skills
  • Depression, and other related mental health problems.

Treatment for ‘SAD’

Now that you have read almost everything about ‘Social Anxiety Disorder’, you must have realized that it is extremely important that we pay close attention to the treatment methods.

If ‘SAD’ is left untreated or is ignored, then it can cause severe harm to the person suffering with it.

Some of the ways that can prove to be helpful in managing social anxiety are:

  • Acknowledge that you have social anxiety, and above all embrace it,
  • Re-frame your thoughts to positive ones, this would help in getting rid of negative trail of thoughts which act as hindrance in work.
  • Avoid using alcohol or mobile phones to overcome anxiety, do not let these things act as your support system to run-away from people,
  • Exercise and eat healthy food,
  • Practice gratitude and mindfulness techniques which help in making your thoughts more positive,
  • Seek the help of professional,i.e. a therapist or self-help groups. A therapist would be in a much better position to provide you with a well-planned intervention to overcome anxiety. Self-help/support groups are those wherein all the members have SAD and exchange their views and ideas.

These are some of the ways which can help a person overcome or at least manage their Social Anxiety.

Have faith that you can overcome SAD, and you are half-way there!

That’s all for today’s blog. This is a topic which is mostly left unanswered or people do not pay much attention to it, therefore I am putting up a blog for you.

I have tried my best to explain Social Anxiety Disorder in as simple way, as I could. I would really appreciate your views and comments below, that would not only help me improve my blogs but would also reinforce me to write more!

Thank you for reading up!

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Author: Sakshi Kaushik

Hey, I am Sakshi Kaushik, a student of Psychology. I am currently in the 2nd Year of my Graduation. I have created this website to increase awareness about Mental Health and to remove the stigma that comes along with it. I hope that the blogs would be interesting for you. So let's dive into this endeavor together!