Social anxiety or social anxiety disorder
is the condition where an individual has feelings of fear in response to social
situations that affects their ability to enjoy a normal and healthy life. It is
also referred to as social phobia and the affected persons find it difficult to
cope and tend to avoid social situations.
With today’s advances in technology that
foster remote communication, the disorder seems to be getting more prevalent.
If you suffer from this problem, it is important to know that it is among the
most common anxiety disorders out there. Herein is a comprehensive account of
some aspects of this condition that you need to know.
The signs of social anxiety
There are a number of notable symptoms
that are evident in people afflicted with social anxiety. The most common is
extreme anxiety during certain events such as meeting new people, talking to
people in authority, giving presentations in front of people, being the centre
of attention, parties or social gatherings and being watched while doing
Socially anxious people will tend to avoid
such situations as much as possible. They often depend on technology to
facilitate interaction. In addition, there may be some physical signs present
if you have the disorder. These include increased heartbeat, cold sweating,
minor trembling, shortness of breath, numbness, blushing as well as dry mouth
The Effects of Social Anxiety
1. Harmful effects
While anxiety is a normal emotional stress
reaction, it becomes significantly harmful once it is persistent, excessive,
overwhelming and seemingly uncontrollable. People with social anxiety disorder
have a higher risk of depression, substance abuse, and even suicidal
tendencies. The risk is higher than in those with other anxiety disorders.
In children and teens, it can affect
nearly all aspects of their school life causing reduced success in academics
and other educational aspects. If left untreated, it spills over into adult
life. It can have a negative impact on a person’s work life.
Social anxiety makes it difficult to take
part in job interviews and land a job. The sufferers are also unable to develop
meaningful professional relationships through networking. Effective networking
involves extensive social settings all of which socially anxious individual
always avoid. They may also have problems taking to authority figures in the
work environment thus affecting their careers.
People with social anxiety tend to have
few or no romantic or social relationships. Such relations have been shown to
be essential for optimal self-esteem levels. Reduced self-esteem causes
socially anxious individuals to feel alone and ashamed consequently making the
situation even worse. Evidently, unchecked social anxiety can lead to a string
of harmful psychological disorders.
2. Beneficial Effects
Social anxiety also has some unexpected
benefits in some instances. Studies indicate that people are more trusting of
socially anxious people. In addition, a fewer number of friends allow for the
development of more meaningful and deeper personal relationships.
From the evolutionary standpoint, humans
have always benefited from anxiety. Anxious people are less likely to engage in
potentially dangerous activities thus they have significantly higher chances of
survival. The aforementioned physical signs of anxiety like increased heartbeat
are the same adaptive features that help our bodies prepare for danger.
There are effective treatment options for
this disorder. They are mostly focused on managing the social anxiety to ensure
that the affected can have normal productive life in all aspects. Since anxiety
is a normal and adaptive human response, attempting to eliminate it would not
be very wise.
Remember, Mayfair Cares and keeps you