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Understanding Social Anxiety

By Randi Morse

There are some people who love to go out and socialize. They enjoy spending time with their friends and family and gain energy by enjoying organized events. There are others, however, who are the complete opposite. These people avoid going out and spending time with others because they are worried that they will humiliate or embarrass themselves somehow. This can make it extremely difficult to do things that are considered normal, like going to a job interview or even going grocery shopping. This is a condition known as social anxiety disorder.

What Is It?

Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by having an extreme fear of being evaluated negatively by other people. People who struggle with social anxiety believe that they are going to be judged and found wanting by other people whenever they go out in public. They believe that they will do something like trip and fall or say something embarrassing and be laughed at. People who are dealing with social anxiety find it difficult to go to social engagements, like parties, to talk to other people, and may even find it difficult to eat or drink in front of others.

Social Anxiety Signs

There are a wide array of symptoms people who are dealing with social anxiety they suffer from including both physical symptoms and mental symptoms. Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder include things like: 

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating

Some of the behavioral symptoms a social anxiety disorder include:

  • Avoiding social situations
  • Keeping quiet
  • Not looking at others
  • Leaving social engagements prematurely

Treating Social Anxiety

People who struggle with social anxiety disorder often find that their situation gets worse as time goes on if they do not get treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tends to be the first line of treatment for people who are struggling from this condition. With CBT, therapists work with their patients helping to educate them about their anxiety and teaching them techniques to help combat the anxiety that someone with social anxiety disorder deals with. Patients who undergo CBT treatment are often asked to face their fears in a slow, progressive manner. This can be a daunting, scary task, but with the right support system even those who have serious social anxiety problems can eventually learn to be comfortable going out in public again. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex.

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