8 Signs You Might Have Social Anxiety video


The NIH National Institute of Mental Health explains that social anxiety disorder is a common type of anxiety disorder . People with this disorder have symptoms of anxiety or fear in certain or all social situations, such as when they meet new people, go on dates, have a job interview, answer a question in class, or have to speak to a cashier. a store. Even doing simple things in front of other people, like eating or drinking in front of others or using a public bathroom, can cause anxiety or fear. They are afraid of being humiliated, judged, and rejected.

Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) is a mental health problem. It is an intense and persistent fear of being observed and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and other daily activities. It can even make it difficult for you to make and keep friends. However, social anxiety disorder doesn't have to stop you from reaching your potential. Treatment can help you overcome your symptoms.

How does it feel to have generalized anxiety disorder?

"At school I was always afraid that teachers would ask me something, even when I knew the answer. I didn't want others to think I was dumb or boring. My heart was pounding and I felt dizzy and sick. When I started to I didn't like meeting with my boss or having to talk at a meeting. I couldn't even attend my best friend's wedding reception because I was afraid of meeting new people. I was trying to calm down by drinking several glasses of wine before any event and then I started drinking every day to try to cope with the things that I had to do. "

"I finally spoke to my doctor because I was tired of feeling this way and was worried that I might lose my job. Now I am taking medication and meeting with a counselor to discuss how to deal with my fears. I refuse to use alcohol to escape my fears and I'm starting to feel better. "

What is social anxiety disorder?

The fear that people with this disorder have in social situations is so strong that they think that controlling it is beyond their capacity. As a result, fear gets in the way of their ability to go to work, attend school, or do everyday things. People with social anxiety disorder may worry about these and other things for weeks before they occur. Sometimes they end up not going to places or events where they think they might have to do something that embarrasses them.

Some people with this disorder do not have anxiety in social settings, but rather have performance anxiety. That is, they feel physical symptoms of anxiety in situations such as when they have to give a speech, participate in sports, or dance or play a musical instrument on stage.
In people who are extremely shy, social anxiety disorder usually starts in youth. This disorder is not so rare. Research suggests that about 7 percent of people in the United States are affected. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can last for many years or a lifetime and can prevent a person from reaching their full potential.

What are the signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder?

When surrounded by other people or when they have to act in front of someone, people with social anxiety tend to:

Redden, sweat, tremble, or feel like your heart is beating too fast or your "mind goes blank"

Having nausea or upset stomach

Display a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak in an extremely low voice

Feeling scared or having trouble being with other people, especially if they don't know them yet, and having trouble talking to them no matter how much they want to

Be very self-aware in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward

Being very afraid of other people judging them

Avoid places where there are other people

What causes social anxiety disorder?

Sometimes social anxiety disorder runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some family members have it and others don't. Researchers have discovered that fear and anxiety involve various parts of the brain. Some researchers think that a misinterpretation of other people's behavior may play a role in generating or worsening social anxiety. For example, you may think that you are being watched or frowning when you really are not. Not having well-developed social skills is another possible contributor to social anxiety. For example, if you don't have good social skills, you may feel discouraged after talking to other people and you may worry about having to do it again. By learning more about fear and anxiety in the brain, Scientists may be able to develop better treatments. The researchers are also exploring whether stress and environmental factors may play a role.

How is social anxiety disorder treated?

First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. It is important that your doctor do an exam and take your medical history to make sure that your symptoms are not caused by an unrelated physical problem. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or counselor. The first step to effective treatment is to establish a diagnosis, and that will usually be done by a mental health specialist.

Social anxiety disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy (sometimes called "dialogue" therapy), medications, or a combination of both. Ask your doctor or other healthcare provider what is the best treatment for you. If they cannot refer you to a specialist, visit the NIMH English page for mental illness help at www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp for resources that may be helpful to you.


A psychotherapy class called cognitive behavioral therapy is especially helpful in treating social anxiety disorder. It teaches other ways of thinking, behaving and reacting to different situations to feel less anxiety or fear. In addition, it also serves to learn and practice to function socially. Group cognitive behavioral therapy can be especially helpful. For more information on psychotherapy, visit our English page on the subject: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies.

Support groups

Many people with social anxiety also find support groups beneficial. In the context of a group where all people have social anxiety disorder, you can receive unbiased and honest information about how others in the group see it. In this way, they realize that their thoughts about how others judge and reject it are not real or distorted. You can also learn how other people with social anxiety disorder deal with and overcome fear of social situations.


There are three types of medications that are used to treat anxiety disorder:

Anxiolytics (medications to combat anxiety)


Beta-blockers or beta-blockers

Anxiolytics are powerful and begin to take effect right away to reduce feelings of anxiety. However, these medications are generally not taken for long periods of time. People can develop tolerance if taken over a long period of time, and they may need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect. Some people may even become dependent on them. To avoid these problems, doctors often prescribe anxiolytics for short periods, a practice that is especially conducive in the case of older people

Although antidepressants are primarily used to treat depression, they also serve to treat the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. In contrast to anxiolytics, antidepressants can take several weeks to start working. Also, they can cause side effects, such as headaches, nausea, or trouble sleeping. These side effects are usually not serious for most people, especially if you start with a low dose and gradually increase it. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you have.

Beta-blockers are medications that can help block some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a fast heartbeat, excessive sweating, or tremors. Beta-blockers are generally the drugs of choice for treating performance-related social anxiety.

Your doctor will work with you to find the medication, dose and duration of treatment that are most suitable for you. Many people with social anxiety disorder achieve the best results using a combination of medications and cognitive behavioral therapy or another type of psychotherapy.

Do not leave the treatment too quickly. Both psychotherapy and medication can take some time to achieve results. A healthy lifestyle can also help combat anxiety. Be sure to get enough sleep and exercise, eat a healthy diet, and reach out to trusted family and friends for support. 

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