Does the thought of attending an office party give you an unfathomable anxiety? Do you dread the college auditorium’s podium because you goofed up a public speech once? Are you alarmingly stressed to ask your doctor about a change in medicine? Is your anxiety crippling you from asking questions in class because your classmates might call you an idiot? If the answers to these questions are affirmative, it might be an indication of a social anxiety disorder (SAD).
When a person is suffering from SAD, even the simplest of social situations can look perturbing and stressful, no matter how benign they are. Such situations make day-to-day functioning an uphill task. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), around 15 million Americans are suffering from SAD and it affects both men and women alike.
As SAD is sometimes overlooked, it is extremely important to recognize its signs. The key to a proper diagnosis and treatment is recognizing the disorder. Some of the signs given below can help a person understand if he/she is suffering from SAD:
1. You are extremely self-conscious
You are extremely self-conscious about your social settings, people around you, the way you are perceived by others, etc. Living in a community means that people will judge you; but if that thought is incessantly affecting your life, then something is not right. For instance, you are so self-conscious about what others might think of your eating habits that you might just want to hide yourself somewhere. Such feelings of self-consciousness only worsen if you do not consult a therapist.
2. You create scripts in advance for day-to-day conversations
You might also show signs of scripting conversations for everyday situations or for any particular anticipated situation and rehearse them umpteen times. To avoid any awkward moment of saying something weird and out of context or to face the social setting without fumbling, stammering, or faltering, you start following this frequently.
3. You experience physical symptoms around people
If you have SAD, you can feel breathless, nauseous, get headache, vomit and frequently blush and sweat. Sometimes, you feel so anxious that you choke, have a racing heart or an overpowering urge to run away from the situation and this can always worsen the situation.
4. You worry for weeks about upcoming events
“Anticipatory anxiety” is one of the most common symptoms of SAD. Your social phobia can make you dread upcoming events and you can get heavily stressed as the days come closer. Any upcoming social event like an office party, a wedding, a public speaking event can make you anxious for days or weeks before the actual date of event, which only adds to your stress levels.
5. You avoid situations involving people
The concept of “avoidance” is a pertinent sign of social phobia. You chronically start staying away from social situations involving interaction with people. For instance, you try to leave a party early because you are frightened to strike a conversation with other people; your online orders are your best friends because you don’t have to call and talk; you might call sick to office on an event organized on account of some occasion.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
SAD is treatable. But it is important to understand the signs and take medical help. A person needs to come out of the cocoon and be brave enough to regain himself. Psychological therapies, coupled with pharmacological treatments, can help a person get back to normal self sans social anxieties.
If you or your loved one is showing symptoms of anxiety, you may contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to find out the most reliable treatment option. Our representatives will guide you to the best curative interventions suiting your needs. Chat online or call at 855-972-9459 for more information.