Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is the fear of meeting people or interacting in social gatherings or simply having to socialize in a crowded place. Many of us feel nervous in some situations, however, the disorder is something more serious. For instance, when we have to give a work presentation or attend a competition, we may feel nervous. There is peer pressure associated with these situations. However, some of us feel extremely self-conscious, fearful, and anxious almost every time we need to interact with a crowd or just a few people. It can be identified as a social anxiety disorder. There are multiple signs and symptoms and they can determine whether you have it or not.
Most Common Signs And Symptoms
Our comfort level in different social situations may vary. If it reaches a significant level of discomfort in all social conditions, you need to check the roots of it. Here are some of the most common signs of social anxiety disorder.
You may feel these signs inside associated with some of the physical symptoms. The common physical symptoms are blushing, trembling, sweating, coughing, and many more. The common signs are:
- Fear of being judged
- Constant worry about embarrassment
- Fear of interacting with strangers
- Fear of being humiliated when you are anxious
- Feeling embarrassed about your physical symptoms of anxiety
- Fear of going to work or school, college or workplace every day
- Fear of entering a room where people are already seated
- Avoiding people out of fear of embarrassment
- Enduring all social situations with fear or anxiety
- Spending time identifying your flaws or analyzing your performance after attending a social gathering
Social Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosis
When you can feel that you might be suffering from it, it is crucial to visit a psychologist. By checking all the symptoms, they will find out the most suitable solutions for you. Firstly, the doctor would discuss with you the specific problems to know how often they are occurring. This identification process may include answering a questionnaire about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Then, the doctor may want to go through a physical check-up to assess whether any medication is triggering your condition. Being honest with your doctor at all times will help you out.
Recently, the American Psychiatric Association has published the criteria for social anxiety disorder. It is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5. However, these five are the most generic signs of the disorder that are sure to identify your problem. Hence, many doctors follow the DSM-5 as the most scientific process to check your disorder.
Social Anxiety Disorder: Treatment
When social anxiety is affecting your daily life to some extent, it is essential to get checked so you can get treatment. Sometimes, the doctors find medication or psychotherapy and sometimes both as the treatment. In psychotherapy, the patients can identify their symptoms and therefore control the negative thoughts in certain situations. Also, they can improve self-worth and other positive feelings to cure the problem. With medication, the doctors suggest specific drugs to control anxiety. Therefore, depending upon the level of anxiety, the treatment process varies. Fortunately, social anxiety disorder can be controlled and treated.