Social Anxiety Disorder: What is Social Anxiety? What are its causes and symptoms?

Social connections and interactions are super-important in the times we live and are an integral part of human life. But for some people, socializing or even the thought of it can bring about a great deal of stress and fear. It is normal to feel a certain amount of anxiety in situations such as giving […]
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April 26,2021
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Social connections and interactions are super-important in the times we live and are an integral part of human life. But for some people, socializing or even the thought of it can bring about a great deal of stress and fear. It is normal to feel a certain amount of anxiety in situations such as giving a speech or going on a date but when everyday conversations cause distress, it is called Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Social anxiety disorder can be described as an intense emotional discomfort someone faces on a regular basis when they face social situations. It is persistent and can affect a person’s relationships at the workplace, home, and even school.

Situations that trigger social anxiety

There are some common situations that trigger a person’s social anxiety. Some of these are:

Performances: Public speaking, competitions, and sporting competitions can trigger people’s anxiety as they feel they are incompetent or will ‘mess up’ during their stage time.

Parties: When people with social anxiety disorder are at social gatherings with a space full of strangers, it can get very challenging for them to interact with people and feel safe.

Reading aloud: Whether it is in a classroom, at a public speech, or at a small reading group, reading in front of people can cause stress to people as they constantly worry about reading the wrong thing, mispronouncing, and stuttering.

Dating: Especially for young people, meeting other people of the opposite sex, interacting with them, and building a deeper connection can be hard as different aspects of dating require socialization. Frequent phone calls, dates, and meeting members of the partner’s family can all be events that trigger one’s social anxiety.

Causes

While anxiety is used to describe a group of anxiety disorders, referred to as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the symptoms of anxiety disorders often include the following:

  • Restlessness, and feeling “on-the-edge”
  • Uncontrollable feelings of worry
  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

Symptoms

People with social anxiety disorder often explain that they feel overwhelmed, fearful, and out of control in situations where their social anxiety is triggered. But, some of the physiological symptoms are similar to generalized anxiety disorder; these symptoms are increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, shaking, and slurred speech. Similarly, their normal psychological functioning is also interrupted and they feel ashamed, go through self-judgment, feelings of inferiority, and worry about saying something due to the fear of being judged.

Help at Heart It Out

If you are looking for reliable practitioners to help you cope with your social anxiety, you can get in touch with our Psychotherapists at Heart It Out here for the best available treatments for social anxiety. You can message us on Whatsapp, call us or book a session through our website.

Coping with social anxiety is a challenging task, no doubt, but with the right support, it can be overcome.

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