The termsocial anxiety disorder may sound new to you but it is actually not. A lot of youngsters are struggling with the same these days. 

“As per research, one in every three people grapples with social anxiety.”

Yes, feeling some butterflies in your stomach isn’t unusual. But a feeling of anxiety and embarrassment, even in completing daily tasks is a matter to worry about. And, in such a situation, a diagnosis of social anxiety becomes necessary. 

In short, by finding out who all have social anxiety, family members and friends can work together to get things working again. Want to know more about it? If yes, keep reading this article. 

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? 

We all have been through feeling nervous and uncomfortable in a social environment. Sometimes you get a lot of sweat on your forehead. Other times, you get your palms sweaty. Think of giving your first presentation in a room full of new people. Wasn’t that really a thrill for you? 

Now, understand it as we all feel a bit of anxiety in social gatherings. But people who struggle with social anxiety disorder experience a lot of stress and pressure which is most of the time, too much to handle. It is among the most common mental disorders. 

The issue usually starts at an early age. Furthermore, it can be highly distressing. Although, for some people, it may vanish away with time. On the contrary, some of us really need proper social anxiety therapy. That is why it becomes important to know the common symptoms of the same. 

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Below you’ll read major social anxiety symptoms that you must keep track of. 

  • Feeling very nervous or self-conscious in social situations.
  • Constantly worrying about embarrassing yourself in front of others.
  • Avoiding social situations whenever possible.
  • Having physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, or a racing heart in social settings.
  • Finding it hard to make friends or talk to people.
  • Feeling judged or criticized by others, even when it might not be true.
  • Having trouble speaking or feeling like your mind goes blank in social situations.
  • Overthinking past social interactions and feeling embarrassed or ashamed about them.
  • Feeling extremely anxious about upcoming social events, sometimes weeks in advance.

Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder

Now, let’s get into what are the factors that can lead to social anxiety disorders. 

  • Firstly, genetics plays a significant role in social anxiety disorder. So, if a close family member has it, there are chances that you also might develop it. There are certain genes that can make you prone to feel anxious in a social environment.
  • Then, differences in brain structure and function can lead to social anxiety disorder. In our brain, some areas involve fear response such as the amygdala. And, some people have it in an overactive situation.
  • Trauma and humiliation can also lead to social anxiety. For example, you may have experience of getting bullied or rejected because of which you don’t feel confident now. 
  • The social environment matters too. For example, it is possible that the environment around you is always stressful. There might be a high level of criticism, ridicule, and similar things. 
  • Lastly, imbalances in neurotransmitters can lead to social anxiety as well. These are serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. These chemicals help regulate mood and anxiety levels, and disruptions in their balance can lead to heightened anxiety symptoms.

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatments

Once you’re aware of social anxiety disorder symptoms, the treatment isn’t far. Social anxiety treatment basically aims to reduce fear and avoidance of social situations.

There are therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy that help change negative thought patterns. Similarly, exposure therapy gradually exposes you to different situations that make you habitual of the social environment. 

Now, there are medications available as well like SSRIs and SNRIs that can help reduce anxiety symptoms. 

Apart from these, deep breathing and mindfulness can also help manage anxiety. If you can’t do this, get yourself enrolled in a social skills training center. The people there will teach you to interact comfortably. Similarly, support groups offer understanding and encouragement. 

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Overall, social anxiety disorder can easily be treated if diagnosed at the right time. In the 21st century where social relationships matter a lot, it becomes imperative to work on building good and happy relations. Hope this article helps.