Most people feel anxious in social situations from time to time, but a social anxiety disorder is a persistent and intense fear of social interaction and being judged by other people. Social anxiety disorder is among the most common type of anxiety disorders.
An individual with this condition typically feels fear and symptoms of anxiety when encountering situations in which they perceive potential scrutiny, whether the scrutiny is there or not. It is for these reasons that an individual with this condition may experience heightened anxiety in situations where feelings of social anxiety are normal, such as when public speaking, on a date, during a job interview, or when meeting new people.
But individuals with a social anxiety disorder also fear scrutiny or judgment in situations others would think nothing of such as interacting with a cashier, using a public restroom, or eating in front of others.
They have a heightened fear of rejection, panic disorders, judgment, or humiliation, perceived intensely and in situations where others may not experience this fear.
The fear experienced by those with a social anxiety disorder is beyond their control. Social anxiety disorder can get in the way of everyday life stopping individuals from spending time with others, attending school, or going to work.
Social anxiety disorder has no main cause. Like other mental health conditions, it is believed to be a combination of factors. A biological predisposition to a mental health condition such as an individual’s parents experiencing a mental health condition just might be indicative of increased susceptibility to the development of social anxiety disorder.
Various childhood experiences are the trauma or treatment that can influence the development of social anxiety disorder such as abuse, too little parental attention, too much parental attention, or an embarrassing moment in a social situation. Social anxiety disorder typically begins during childhood and presents with avoidance of social situations and excessive shyness. Social anxiety disorder occurs more commonly in females than males.
The fear associated with social interaction is the root symptom of social anxiety disorder. It’s not something like depression. Some common signs and symptoms include fear of embarrassment or humiliation caused by yourself or others, avoidance of situations in which you will be judged, fear that others will notice you, and fear that the symptoms of your anxiousness like sweating, blushing, or a trembling will be noticed.
Other familiar signs may include expecting the worst outcome, avoiding situations in which you are the focus of attention, focusing on perceived flaws and mistakes during previous social interactions, and more.
Everyone experiences shyness from time to time, but a social anxiety disorder is far more intense and potentially crippling than regular shyness. Social anxiety disorder presents with fear and anxiety to the point at which it causes avoidance even if it negatively impacts the individuals. Individuals with social anxiety can struggle with their daily routines, their ability to attend work or school, damage relationships, and see other negative effects.
Despite being aware of the detrimental effects of their actions, an individual living with a social anxiety disorder may experience their symptoms to such an extent that they still opt for avoidance. Fortunately, social anxiety is treatable through a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
In the absence of treatment, a social anxiety disorder can last for years or a lifetime. For patients in Boulder, CO, Delos is at the forefront of mental health treatment. Call our team of professionals today at Delos Psychiatry today or visit us online to book an appointment for general psychiatry. Compassionate medical professionals will work with patients to develop a treatment plan best suited to their goals to help them take control of their social anxiety. Contact us today through the pages of our website and let us help you enjoy life again. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 2501 Walnut St. Suite 204 Boulder, CO 80302. We serve patients from Boulder CO, Denver CO, Silverthorne CO, Longmont CO, Superior CO, Lafayette CO, Broomfield CO, Erie CO, and Niwot CO.