Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is commonly diagnosed among Americans, with over 15 million people having this disorder in the United States. There has been a lot of growth in recognizing social anxiety and related disorders in people all over the country. However, there is still room to learn and grow.
Many people realize that a loved one has social anxiety and aren’t sure what they can do to help them. However, loved ones can help the person struggling with social anxiety.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a very challenging issue that may cause someone suffering from it to experience several problems. The symptoms and effects of social anxiety are challenging for people to deal with in the short and long term.
The National Institute of Mental Health provides an excellent way of thinking about social anxiety. They mention that people with social anxiety may experience anxiety or even fear situations where the public could judge them. Unfortunately, we all have to face situations like that from time to time. Therefore, dealing with social anxiety in any capacity is incredibly challenging.
The truth is that many people suffer from this social anxiety disorder in silence. They will do everything that they can to avoid social situations that make them uncomfortable. However, in so doing, they may inadvertently reveal their social anxiety in and of itself.
People often notice when others aren’t behaving in the same ways, and those people may stand out. Thus, it is essential to recognize when someone may exhibit social anxiety symptoms.
Signs of Social Anxiety
Simply recognizing when someone appears to be pulling away from social activities and obligations is a good first sign. Often, the symptoms of social anxiety are only felt internally.
For people who are attempting to identify social anxiety in themselves, they may want to look for the following signs:
- Worry About Embarrassing Yourself – No one likes to be embarrassed, but those with intense internal fears about embarrassment may suffer from social anxiety issues.
- Fear That Others Notice Your Anxiety – A belief that other people notice and judge a person’s anxiety is a sign of social anxiety. Those who don’t have this type of anxiety do not generally worry about others potentially noticing them acting anxiously.
- Fear of Physical Symptoms of Anxiety – The overwhelming concern that someone may give off physical manifestations of anxiety. These symptoms include sweating, blushing, or trembling, which is another sign that you may be dealing with social anxiety.
These are all things that are felt internally in the person. Therefore it is incredibly challenging for an outside party to know that these types of things are going on. It is essential for the person to verbalize that they are experiencing these symptoms.
Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety
People can use a few strategies to treat their social anxiety. They can use the following tips to help beat back the symptoms of social anxiety when they are experiencing them.
1) Find a Therapist
The first recommendation is to find a therapist to assist with these issues. A mental health professional is a great resource when people are worried about managing their social anxiety issues. People with social anxiety can seek help and treatment to manage their symptoms. They do not need to struggle with social anxiety on their own.
2) Identify Triggers
When someone recognizes the triggers that may impact their social anxiety. They can avoid putting themselves in situations that may spike their anxiety. At the very least, these people can learn how to manage triggers and plan for anxiety-provoking situations.
3) Role Play Scenarios
Some people find it helpful to role-play potential scenarios that cause them stress. They can walk through each step of what could happen when they are involved in a situation that brings them anxiety and stress. This may make it possible to tamp down some of the worst feelings of stress and anxiety that they would otherwise experience.
This is to say that they can work through why they feel so overwhelmed and anxious in the first place.
Social Anxiety Treatment
There are two main routes that people take for social anxiety treatment. They tend to use cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or both. These solutions are helpful for someone suffering from social anxiety.
Some people respond very well to medication and realize it is what is needed to find some relief from symptoms. However, others want to take things further and use cognitive behavioral therapy. This simply involves speaking with a therapist about what they are going through. Then they can receive practical advice about how they can work on dampening their symptoms.
Social Anxiety Therapy
Finally, we want to touch on what it is about social anxiety therapy may prove helpful to someone struggling with their emotional response to certain situations.
Here are a few ways that a therapist can help:
- Learn to Reframe Negative Thoughts – The challenging or negative thoughts that one is dealing with now may be transformed into something more productive. This often requires the help of a therapist.
- Talk About Differences Between Being Shy and Social Anxiety – Society often equates being shy with having social anxiety. There are some similarities between the two situations that can cause some people a level of confusion. However, being shy and having social anxiety is not the same.
- Refer People for Medication – A therapist may refer a client to a clinical physician. A clinical physician can prescribe medication to help with social anxiety. Getting yourself medicated may be the step you need to take to help work through this issue.
Help with Social Anxiety in Orange County, CA
Social anxiety can be a debilitating form of anxiety common among Americans. Social anxiety can make relationships and meeting new people a challenge. With therapy and treatment, symptoms of social anxiety can be reduced or eliminated.
People struggling can do many things to help make sure they are doing something constructive about their social anxiety. At Enhance Health Group, our professionals have proven experience treating people with all forms of anxiety, including social anxiety.