Are you afraid of listening to the judgments of others? Do you like to negatively evaluate by others? Do you very conscious of the feelings of inadequacy and inferiority? Then you can self- determine that you are a person with a social anxiety disorder. For those who question how to know if you have social anxiety can have an adequate idea regarding social anxiety and its different aspects by going through the following post.
How to know if you have social anxiety?-Basic overview
Social Anxiety or social phobia is a type of mental disorder. It can occur through when you are extremely discomfort, anxious and when you are fearful of somebody or something. In addition; this mental health condition can simply define as an illness in which social connections or the interactions could cause irrational anxiety and fear.
There are instances in our lives where we feel anxious in some social contexts. But, that does not mean that each and every human being caused by social anxiety just because we are anxious in certain situations. Instead, if people have a heightened fear when making interactions with others, then it is one of the characteristics that prove that this person has social anxiety.
This heightened anxiety could make impairments in the interaction with others in which it affects that person’s life because it leads him/ her to have very few numbers of relationships. As a result of it, these people are evaluated as stupid, foolish and awkward.
What are the key physical symptoms of social anxiety?
Though they recognize the fact that this anxiety is not based on any kind of reality principle, he/ she simply could not get away from it. That may be because it might have come from their nurture. They are aware that this fear is not reasonable yet. That is because they could not get away from this distress because they are vulnerable and helpless against their own anxiety.
Though this illness considers as a disorder related to mental health. Most of all the people suffer from various physical symptoms. The following are the physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
a sudden increase in the heartbeat due to social anxiety.
shaking or quivering, typically as a result of anxiety, excitement, or frailty.
show shyness, embarrassment, or shame by becoming red in the face.
Certain individuals show excess sweating when they are in front of any social gathering or any other social situations.
- Upset stomach
- Trouble catching your breath
- Feeling that the mind has become into a blank status
More physical symptoms of social anxiety…
There are instances that the individual could not remember anything regarding the work that he or she going to perform. That is a kind of emotionally blank status which is caused by anxiety.
- Muscle tension
The body makes stress-response when an individual gets anxious. This stress-response is known as hyperstimulation in medical terminology. Basically; hyperstimulation is the enhanced stimulation or stimulating again and again. Consequently; the individual might feel the tightness of the body muscles, the stiffness of muscles and enhanced muscle pain.
Nausea is a kind of feeling of sickness which gives the individual a feeling of vomiting. The person gets the feeling of dizziness in a social situation.
The DSM-5 (The Diagnostic Statistic Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) has identified ten personality disorders in psychology and has assigned each of them into three clusters as A, B and C. The social anxiety disorder is one of those personality disorders which come under the third cluster or Cluster 3.
Social anxiety considers as one of the commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders. This can be found in people starting from teenage years. The most specific factor is that most of all the diagnosed people were extremely shy throughout their childhood in which it affects them not to have close ties or interactions with the others. But it is necessary to keep in the mind that shyness is not the only factor that contributes to social anxiety when you grow up.
When considering the social anxiety disorder, it can be mainly divided into two as, specific social anxiety and generalized social anxiety. People with specific social anxiety are fear of speaking in front of a group of people but the people who have generalized social anxiety are almost in the entire situation feel anxious, uncomfortable and uneasy.
Do I have social anxiety or am I just shy?
Probably now you might be entangled in the question whether you have social anxiety because you feel shy when you are meeting new people and you might feel so anxious when you need to face an interview or to talk to somebody that you have not known before. But that does not mean that you are a person with social anxiety disorder.
Shyness and the social anxiety disorder lie in the opposite sides of a spectrum which it clearly indicates that these two are two different things though at some point shyness is a prerequisite to have the social anxiety disorder. But that does not mean that shyness is a subpart of this condition. Just because both shyness and the social anxiety disorder share the same characteristics that do not mean that this is one condition.
Shyness can be categorized as a personal trait and it does not consider as a negative trait related to a person’s life. People who are shy to face a group of people will not be affected by long term anxious emotions and feelings. The most important fact is that the shyness will disappear when the unfamiliar situations and people get familiar to you and the shy people are more optimistic and do not tend to criticize them.
Though the shyness has the ability to cause problems in some of our days to day activities, it can be avoided with the time. There is a general notion that if you shy; it eventually leads to social anxiety which is totally a wrong idea because if the shy people really need to talk to strangers and to face new situations, they are able to do it despite their shyness.
Further explanation about social anxiety…
Whereas, people with social anxiety disorder, could not get away from it. Instead, even with the time, when the unfamiliar people and places become familiar, their condition remains unchanged or become worse. Therefore, they become pessimistic and it often leads to completely interrupt almost all the aspects of their daily behaviors. On the other hand, a social anxiety disorder can be cured only through medications or through psychological therapies while shyness does not need any kind of medical intervention.
In order to make you understand more, think about a situation where you had to do a presentation in front of your whole class. The people who have a social anxiety disorder feel very anxious and they worry too much even before the presentation. At the same time, though they get ready beforehand, they start to shake and have an increased heartbeat at the moment of presentation.
They could not even sleep properly before this even takes place. Even at the moment of presentation, they feel the fear that his/ her classmates will judge the presentation and it gradually increases to intense fear. But people with shyness do not feel this much fear or negative emotions. Instead, they become somewhat anxious and nervous and just let go of the criticisms or their own feelings easily.
As pointed out above, if you feel suspicious that your shyness could cause social anxiety in the future. The best method is to take medical advice because, if your suspense is a true fact, then with the time, this condition becomes more worsen in which it can lead you to have more severe conditions like depression.
The indicators of Social Anxiety disorder
People with social anxiety usually experience distress and a significant uneasiness in various situations. Some of them are,
- Introduced to other people
- Teased or criticized
- Eating in front of other people
- Facing for an interview
- Encountering strangers
- When that person is the center of the attention
This is not a complete list of situations. But, these are the most frequent and common situations where it triggers whether a person has a social anxiety disorder or not.
Statistics of Social Anxiety disorder
As pointed out by researchers, this disorder is more associated with women rather than men and it considers as the third most common mental disorder in the world. It is a proved fact that a person with Social Anxiety disorder reports its symptoms for more than 10 years before they are getting this condition. At the same time, some medications like Cognitive Behavioural Theory helped the patients to recover fully from a social anxiety disorder.
However, there is still no exact cause for this disorder. It is said that both nature and the nurture can have an impact to cause this condition. As researchers suggested, extreme shyness in childhood or childhood maltreatment could cause people to develop the social anxiety while the nature or the biological factors like genetic factors could cause a person to develop this distress condition since the characteristics like, favor to be in solitude, trying to get away from unfamiliar situations are connected with the genetics of a person in which later they can be the root causes for this malady.
It is suggested that the way of expressing the symptoms of this disease by children are somewhat different from adults. Most of the children do not like to express their fears or extreme shyness hence it could be developed to a worsening state of this illness.
What is depression?
Depression is a serious mental condition which is very common yet it will make you feel, think and act in a negative manner. It has the ability to decrease a person’s mental and physical stability in which it makes difficult to conduct their daily chores due to the instability in both their physical and mental conditions.
How to track whether you are depressed or not?
If you are a person with the depression, you will often feel sad, anxious or depressed. You start to think your self as worthless and therefore you will become hopeless. You will become irritable and you will lose the enthusiasm once you had when engaging in your favorite activities.
Your physical stamina decreased with the time, therefore, it will really difficult for you to concentrate and to remember or to make decisions easily. Apart from that, either it will be very difficult for you to sleep or you will be engaged in oversleeping. If the level of depression is so high, there can be thoughts of suicide or can be attempted to suicides too.
The main reasons to cause depression are difficult situations or experiences that a person has to endure. For example, the death of your close one, ending a close relationship after a fight and being a victim physical harassment can be taken. However, there are tendencies where people mistakenly consider extreme sadness and grief as depression though there are similar characteristics in both the sadness and grief, they differ in many ways. Thus, it is necessary to distinguish it properly in order to take treatments at early phases of this condition.
There are different forms of depression in which they differ slightly from each other. Examples of forms of depression are, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder and so on. All these types of depression are classified under the DSM- 5 (The Diagnostic Statistic Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) under the 3rd cluster.
Research results of depression
As pointed out by researchers, depression can happen at any age limit. But, it is said that it is usually associated with adults. It is said that there are several factors that play a role in getting depression in a particular person. The genetics has the ability to propagate this condition among the family members. It is specifically can be seen in twins. For example, if an identical twin has depression, there is a huge chance that the other person too could be caused by the depression. Apart from that, personality too has a kind of impact on a person to have this condition.
Continuous exposure to violence or abusive kind of environment makes an individual to have depression for a greater extent. Therefore, environmental factors have a high impact on a person.
As researchers suggested, apart from getting medication, people can self-serve themselves to reduce the level of depression. The easiest treatment would be that they can get enough sleep. Apart from that, they can engage in regular exercises, taking health and a balanced diet and to improve a good and positive mood.
Social anxiety and depression
As indicated above, there is a strong connection between social anxiety and depression because some situations with social anxiety have become the root cause of depression. The statistics reveal that if you are a victim of a social anxiety disorder, then there is a predictable outcome that this person would suffer from depression sooner or later.
When a person continuously lives with social anxiety, the emotions and feelings that a person gets can make them vulnerable. In that instance, the depression starts to function itself by taking those unbearable painful emotions and feelings. In a way, depression works as a shield to protect a victim from getting harmful thoughts that he/ she gets as a result of an adverse level of social anxiety.
Reasons that social anxiety leads to depression
One of the foremost reasons for depression is that people who are suffering from social anxiety do not participate for any kinds of social gatherings like parties or get-togethers because of the belief that they will be humiliated or embarrassed by others. Therefore, they want to stay in solitude and alone, but still wishing to be at the party. But due to the uncontrolled impulses, the victim has to keep his/ her desires and wants within her self in which it gradually causes to unhappy circumstances that developed till the person causes depression.
Another reason would be, they could not able to make any kind of achievement in their lives though they have dreams and career goals that they would like to succeed just like anyone else. Due to social anxiety disorder, they do not like to face challenging situations thus they could not reach their full potentials. When they could not achieve their dreams and career goals they become frustrated which makes the victim take the path of the depression condition. Due to this same reason, they have to avoid formal and professional activities since they become distressful and discomfort.
More reasons which drive social anxiety to depression…
When this happens simultaneously, the victims try to compare themselves with others and then become frustrated because they could not achieve what they want as others do. They will feel that they are not capable enough like others though they actually more capable than others for certain activities yet due to the fear of judgments they could not show their capability. As a consequence, it will again lead to depression due to overthinking and too much of the stress that a person is undergoing thinking about the same thing over and over again.
The experiences like sexual assaults, abuses, teasing can sometimes increase the fears of social anxiety victims. When this desolation and the grief increase, it eventually leads to depression because these negative scenarios eventually transform into depression.
Accordingly, the main root cause for depression can be social anxiety. It is true that there are instances where the depression can happen independently. Yet the central principle is that depression causes due to extreme grief, distress and through unhappy occasions that have happened through social anxiety.
Social Anxiety Medication
Social anxiety disorder is a fully treatable state. It can be controlled through necessary and suitable medication.
If you are suspicious that you have a social anxiety disorder, what should be the first step? Of course, you should have to meet a doctor and do a proper diagnosis. First of all; the doctor will assess your level of anxiety. As the next step, you will be treated with the best treatment or treatments. Among the doctor’s suggestions, there can be,
Cognitive – Behavioural Therapy:
One of the most commonly used psychotherapies to treat social anxiety disorder sufferers. This is a widely used type of psychotherapy usually referred to talk therapy. This therapy specifically focuses on changing the person’s way of thinking, feelings, beliefs and the actions. In this way, this therapy is able to change the negative emotions and feelings that it interrelated with. When continuing this medication, there will be clear progress within the victim. The reason is this therapy changes the irrational and negative thoughts into positive thoughts. At the same time; his form of medicine can help to propagate appropriate behaviors.
When considering medication, there are three types that used to treat social anxiety disorder. Those three types are anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants, and beta- blockers.
The first type among the given list is the most powerful medication. It is used for treating patients with social anxiety disorder. This is a powerful type of medication. This kind of medication makes several physical effects on the brain and body In that way; they have the potential of reducing anxious feelings swiftly.
Actually, anti-anxiety medication does not specifically design to treat the social anxiety disorder and most importantly; they help to manage the worsened condition at some point. Therefore; doctors are more careful when prescribing this treatment so that they prescribe this medicine for a short period of time.
Antidepressants are originally used to treat individuals who are suffering from depression. At the same time; antidepressants can be used to treat the people who have the social anxiety condition as well. This is not as powerful as much as anti-anxiety medication do, but it works with the time being. This medicine can cause side effects like headaches and nausea thus doctors do not recommend them for the long term.
When considering the beta blockers, they mainly use to control heart diseases which have caused through social anxiety. High level of social anxiety leads to high levels of blood pressure in individuals. This medication helps you to reduce your high-levels of blood pressure. Keep in your mind that this can only be prescribed for a short time period. That is because this has a lot of side effects including weight gain and tiredness.
If you have diabetes and asthma, it is better to avoid taking this medicine though you have social anxiety.
Simple steps to say goodbye to social anxiety
Apart from the standard medications, there are simple things that a person can do in order to reduce the level of social anxiety. For example, changing your lifestyle into a new life with regular sleep and with a balanced nutritious meal will be a huge step. It has the potential of reducing the level of social anxiety.
On the other hand, by providing necessary guidelines to change and develop social skills and confidence in which it helps to self-understand and to self-evaluate you then a person will get the opportunity to get away from their status at least for a certain extent.
The Bottom Line
In this article, we talked about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder in detail. Moreover; we had a look at how to identify whether you are a casualty of it. At the same time; we discussed as of how to differentiate between shyness and the social anxiety disorder. Moreover; we highlighted the connection between the social anxiety condition and depression.
Other than that; we allocated a considerable period of time in order to see how and when the social anxiety disorder becomes the root cause to have depression in humans.
Finally, we paid our attention to the medications that we need to take to get rid of this disorder. One thing you have to keep in your mind thoroughly that if you diagnosed with any kind of mental illness. It is crucial to consult a qualified medical professional or a psychiatrist and to take continuous treatments. In that way; you can acquire more sustainable and long-term outcomes.