Social Anxiety: Symptoms and Tips
Social anxiety disorder, often known as social phobia, is characterised by a persistent and overwhelming fear of social settings.
It’s a typical issue that usually begins in adolescence. It may be really upsetting and have a significant influence on your life. It becomes better for some people as they get older. However, for many people, it does not go away on its own and requires therapy.
Shyness is not the only cause of social anxiety. It’s a persistent dread that interferes with daily activities, self-esteem, relationships, and work or school performance. Many individuals worry about social settings on occasion, but someone with social anxiety worries excessively before, during, and after them.
You may suffer from social anxiety if you:
- You may worry about everyday activities such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, talking on the phone, working, or shopping avoid
- You may worry a lot about social activities such as group conversations, eating with company, and parties always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushing, sweating, or appearing incompetent find it difficult to do things when others are watching
- You may suffer panic attacks, when you feel an overpowering sensation of fear and worry for a few minutes at a time
- You may feel like you’re being watched and judged all the time, avoid eye contact, or have poor self-esteem.
- You may have symptoms such as feeling ill, sweating, shaking, or a pounding heartbeat (palpitations).
Many persons who suffer from social anxiety also suffer from depression, generalised anxiety disorder, or panic disorder.
Self-help can help lessen social anxiety, and it may be a good starting step before attempting additional treatments.
The following tips may be useful:
- Try to learn more about your anxiety, keeping a diary might assist by thinking about or writing down what goes through your thoughts and how you respond in particular social circumstances.
- Break down difficult circumstances into manageable chunks and concentrate on being more calm with each portion. Try to focus on what others are saying rather than anticipating the worst.
- Make a list of your life’s priorities. Anxiety may be reduced by properly managing your time and energy. Make an effort to spend time doing activities that you like.
- Avoid harmful substance use. Anxiety can be caused or exacerbated by the use of alcohol, drugs, or even coffee or nicotine. Quitting any of these substances might be stressful if you are addicted to them. If you are unable to quit on your own, consult your doctor or locate a treatment programme or support group to assist you.
- Try some stress-relieving strategies, such as breathing exercises.
If you are experiencing symptoms, it is critical that you get medical attention and seek help from a mental health professional. There are therapies as well as medications available to help you manage it.
Social anxiety disorder can be a severe mental health problem, but gaining confidence and improving your capacity to communicate with others can be helped by learning coping techniques in psychotherapy and using drugs.
You could also benefit from reading the NHS self-help guide for social anxiety.