Social Anxiety disorder - how can a social phobe get rid of obsessive anxiety?
Social phobia – is a problem of most people in the modern world. The development of the deviation can occur at any age.Sociophobes are most often found among the fair sex. A Large percentage of cases occur in the age group of 20-32 years, but all segments of the population are susceptible to the disorder.
Social fear as a mental aberration
Social anxiety disorder is a state of anxiety that occurs when a person is in society. At the same time, there is an unfounded fear in various situations. Anxiety is triggered by a sense of fear that others are watching the person, may criticize him or subject him to censure.
In this state, a person is afraid that he may make a mistake, will look bad in the eyes of others.
The lack of skills to speak in public or work in various social situations contributes to the aggravation of fears. Against the background of such situations, a panic attack may develop. In addition, people with this disease have a pre-emptive anxiety, that is, they begin to fear a certain situation long before it occurs.
A social phobe may have a fear of something specific, for example, a fear of speaking in a public place with a large crowd of people, or there may be a painful anxious expectation of any socializing situation.
Among other situations that can provoke a restless state, the following are highlighted:
- interaction with people-Dating, attending parties;
- eating in public places;
- being the center of attention;
- use of public toilets;
- phone conversations.
The development of social phobia can occur against the background of other mental diseases, often its symptoms occur with panic disorder or depression.
Where is the reason, who is taking the risk?!
It has not yet been possible to Determine the exact cause of social anxiety. However, according to numerous studies, it has become known that the following factors can provoke such a condition:
- Psychological. This includes humiliations or bad experiences in the past-bullying, rejection by peers.
- Biological. It is established that behavior can be influenced by the brain circuits that are involved in regulating emotions and the brain center. This also includes a genetic predisposition.
- Environmental. The development of fear in a person with a social phobia can be facilitated by observing how others behave, or what has become of them as a result of such behavior.
Those children who were constantly under the care of their parents cannot develop normal social skills.
No less important are physiological factors, such as impaired levels of serotonin, a substance responsible for mood.
The brain of a social phobe (left) and a healthy person on the right - the presence of hyperactivity of the frontal lobe in the patient is obvious
How to identify a social phobe in yourself and others?
The main sign that a social phobe should pay attention to is a fear of communicating with people, which may result in such physical manifestations:
- life path of a social phobe (clickable)
- redness of the face;
- excessive sweating;
- difficulty in speech pronunciation;
- severe vertigo;
- rapid heartbeat.
Among the signs of a psychological nature, the following are distinguished:
- the need to drink alcoholic beverages in order to relieve anxiety before performing in public;
- failure to attend school or work due to anxiety;
- experiences due to the situation of possible awkward moments;
- excitement at the thought of it being noticed by others present;
- a state of anxiety that occurs long before the onset of a social situation.
Minor feelings of anxiety do not cause serious concern. However, if there is a social phobia, the person does not leave the idea that he can be humiliated, criticized or condemned. Such people try to avoid any social interaction:
- don't ask questions;
- do not attend job interviews;
- do not like to go shopping or to the public toilet;
- do not eat in the presence of others.
Social anxiety disorder is not always accompanied by appropriate symptoms. It happens that this condition can only manifest itself when a certain situation occurs, for example, when meeting or performing in public.
If social anxiety is present in severe form, such symptoms occur regardless of the current social situation.
Tests will help Diagnose social phobia
If there are signs of social phobia, the examination begins with a specialist interviewing the patient and physical examination.
Different types of tests Can be applied, since there are no special laboratory tests for diagnosing the disease. Tests help in determining the cause that caused the development of pathology.
If there is no physical illness, the patient is referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist for examination. In their work, they use specially designed interviews that help in identifying the problem.
To make a diagnosis, the specialist takes into account the duration and intensity of the characteristic symptoms present, as well as the presence of signs characteristic of social anxiety disorder. The patient's behavior is also closely monitored. After carrying out the necessary measures and making a final diagnosis, the appropriate method of treating social phobia is selected.
What can I do on my own?
To get Rid of social phobia can be independently, it is necessary to observe a number of some of the recommendations:
- Exclude foods containing caffeine (coffee, chocolate, carbonated water) from the diet. They have a stimulating effect on the Central nervous system, which provokes anxiety.
- You should try to get enough sleep. Sleep should be at least eight hours long. With a significant lack of it, anxiety increases, which exacerbates the symptoms of social phobia.
Professional assistance of a psychotherapist and psychologist
Several ways to treat social anxiety disorder have been Developed. In each case, different methods of influence will give different results. For some patients, only one method will be enough, for others, several methods are not enough.
There are the following types of psychotherapy:
- Expositional. The patient is helped to gradually enter various social situations, instead of avoiding them completely.
- Cognitive behavioral. This is one of the most effective methods of treatment, as a result of which the patient is taught to control their fears and anxiety through relaxation and breathing techniques.
- Group therapy. It involves the use of special skills that help in interacting with people in society. When participating in such trainings, a person suffering from social fears does not feel so alone. In addition, they can put their skills into practice.
If such treatment does not bring a positive effect, the attending doctor prescribes special medications (Celexa, Lexapro, Remeron, Prozac, Luvox, Effexor, Trazodone, Xanax, Ativan, Zoloft, Valium) to eliminate the symptoms of social phobia. Such medications do not completely eliminate the problem, their action is aimed only at reducing the symptoms present, which significantly improves the quality of daily life.
To minimize the signs of social phobia, it may take more than one month of medical treatment.
The Most common side effects of taking them:
- lack of sleep;
- digestive disorders;
- weight gain;
- decreased sexual desire.
To avoid such consequences, at the initial stage of treatment, the doctor prescribes small doses of medications with a gradual increase in it.
If you do not start treating social anxiety disorder in a timely manner, the risk of developing not the most favorable consequences increases, including:
- drug addiction;
- thought to commit suicide;
- pathological loneliness.
With proper treatment, the prognosis is quite favorable. Medications, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy have a positive effect on the outcome of the disease.
Phobic anxiety should Not be allowed to control life. Fears must be kept under control. To do this, it is good to conduct sessions of respiratory gymnastics and relaxation. It is not superfluous to consume medications that your doctor will recommend.