Types Of Anxiety Disorder
As noted above, anxiety can range from mild to severe and can come and go over time. For some anxious thoughts may feel like a relatively minor issue or may present as troublesome, frustrating, or annoying. Or it may feel completely overwhelming and a real detriment to your daily life.
You may have anxiety over one specific thing or a more general kind of anxiety that extends into many facets of your life. For some people, anxiety causes them to focus more inward, others become less introverted and cope by distracting themselves with more extroverted behaviors. However, introverts tend to experience more anxiety, possibly because they may be more in tune with their inner life and anxiety level.
For many people, anxiety is relatively manageable, but others feel ruled or limited by it. How we cope with our anxiety has a big role in how impactful it becomes. For some, anxiety tips over from typical nervousness or apprehension into more profound anxiety disorders. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 43% of people with anxiety have mild cases, 33% have moderate anxiety, and almost 23% have a severe prognosis.
Do I Have Social Anxiety Or Am I Just Shy
Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. Social anxiety is more than just feeling shy. People with social anxiety have an intense fear of situations where they could be watched, judged, embarrassed, or rejected by others. The symptoms are so extreme that they interfere with the persons daily routine and prevent them from taking part in ordinary activities.
How Can You Overcome The Anxiety Trick
The thing that makes fears and phobias so persistent is that virtually anything you do to oppose, escape, or distract from the anxious feelings and thoughts will be turned against you, and make the anxiety a more persistent part of your life.
This is why people notice “the harder I try, the worse it gets”. They’re putting out fires with gasoline.
If you come to see that you’ve been putting out fires with gasoline, you may not have any idea what to do next. But the first step is always the same: put down the buckets. Stop throwing gasoline on that fire.
This is where the cognitive behavioral methods of desensitization and exposure come in. They’re intended as methods by which you can practice with the symptoms, and become less sensitive to them. As you lose your fear of the symptoms, through this practice, that’s when the symptoms will fade.
All too often, people get the idea that exposure means going to a place or situation where you’re likely to get anxious, perhaps a highway or an elevator, and take a ride without getting anxious. That’s not the point! The point is to actually go there and feel the anxiety, being sure to stay there and letting the anxiety leave first. This is what Claire Weekes called floating.
The way to disarm the Anxiety Trick is to increasingly spend time with anxiety, to expose yourself to the thoughts and sensations, and allow them to subside over time.
Also Check: How To Stop Anxiety After Drinking Alcohol
Tips For Coping With Anxiety In Work Meetings
Anxiety in meetings at work can be a problem for those with social anxiety disorder . Perhaps you have missed out on promotion opportunities because you didn’t speak up in meetings like your colleagues. Or maybe you have avoided promotions completely because they would mean that you would have to attend more meetings.
There are a number of coping strategies that you can use to help alleviate social anxiety in meetings at work. These are most useful if your anxiety is not severe or you are already in treatment for SAD.
How To Practice Deep Breathing
When in social situations, make sure that you are breathing the way that you practiced. In time, this way of breathing will become automatic.
Also Check: How To Help My Teenager With Anxiety
Strategy : Improve Your Social Skills
Sometimes people develop Social Anxiety Disorder because they have felt embarrassed about being shy or awkward around people.
Sometimes people havent had the same amount of practice in the area of social skills as others.
If this sounds like you, make learning about social skills a normal part of your life.
What Is The Anxiety Trick
The Anxiety Trick is this: You experience Discomfort, and get fooled into treating it like Danger.
What do we do when we’re in danger? We only have three things: Fight, Flight, and Freeze. If it looks weaker than me, I’ll fight it. If it looks stronger than me, but slower, I’ll run away. And if it looks stronger and faster than me, I’ll freeze and hope it doesn’t see so good. That’s all we have for danger.
When people experience the fear of a panic attack, or a phobic encounter, or an obsessive thought, they instinctively treat it as a danger. They try to protect themselves, with some variation of Fight, Flight, or Freeze.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know You Have Bad Anxiety
Putting Yourself Out There
When You Accidentally Get Too Drunk
GIRL, GO HOME. Go home before the night takes a turn for the worst. Go home before life gets dark, drugs are done and you do something foolish, like sleep with your ex without a condom. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: THERE IS NO MORNING AFTER PILL FOR HERPES.
Get in that damn Uber and make a swift exit. No one will remember your unsteady walk if you leave before midnight. Trust me. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Anxiety Wake Me Up
Commitment Anxiety In Men
You are in love, but are afraid of a relationship? Men often fear to lose their freedom when they meet a great partner. Why can’t it stay with noncommittal sex without further commitment? With a friendship plus?
Again and again you experience that men feel crushed or are afraid that the relationship fails and they are alone again. Since it is better to remain independent and alone. Too great is the danger that the partner leaves the man and hurt.
What is it: commitment anxiety or no feelings? The answer is clear, because men also have very strong feelings. After all, it is the various emotions, which trigger the fear of relationships and also of rejection.
You Really Need To Pull Yourself Together
A colleague said this to me when she found me crying in the staff toilets at an event. She thought the tough love approach would help me snap out of it. However, not only did it not help, it made me feel more embarrassed and exposed. It confirmed that I was a freak and therefore needed to hide my condition.
When faced with anxiety, the natural response from observers seems to be to encourage the person to calm down. Ironically, this only makes it worse. The sufferer is desperate to calm down, but is unable to do so.
Read Also: Does Abilify Help With Anxiety
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
While adding probiotics to your diet might help lessen some social anxiety, a couple of things could also make it worse including that morning cup of coffee or energy drink. Older research shows caffeine can increase feelings of panic and anxiety in people who already experience anxiety.
And in an animal study, consuming more caffeine in adolescence was linked to higher levels of anxiety in adulthood.
Like caffeine, alcohol may not be the best option if youre looking to reduce feelings of social anxiety. Some people use alcohol as a social lubricant, and it can work in the short term. But if using alcohol to soothe social anxiety becomes a habit, it can make you feel more anxious in regular settings over time.
Some research also suggests that alcohol could increase anxiety in shy people the day after drinking it. Even moderate amounts can affect your mood and anxiety level, so its a good idea to be mindful about how often you use it to take the edge off anxiety in social settings.
What Fears Are Involved
With social phobia, a person’s fears and concerns are focused on their social performance whether it’s a major class presentation or small talk at the lockers.
People with social phobia tend to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about being noticed or judged by others. They’re more sensitive to fears that they’ll be embarrassed, look foolish, make a mistake, or be criticized or laughed at. No one wants to go through these things. But most people don’t really spend much time worrying about it. The fear and anxiety are out of proportion to the situation.
Don’t Miss: How Many Types Of Anxiety Are There
Put Your Action Plan Into Practice Daily Which Means Acting Out Your Intentions
Its not enough to put pen to paper. Sure, it puts things into motion, but until you actually start acting on your intentions, youre playing at the superficial level. You have to act. So I practiced items on my action plan daily, because practice makes confident. I took the first item from my plan and repeatedly banged my head against it at every opportunity. I faced it straight on. It didnt matter how I felt about it. Whether my cheeks flushed, or my upper lip sweat, or my inner demons came out to play, everyday embarrassment paid a visit.
Yet I worked toward conquering my social anxiety. Little by little, I stopped sweating. And then I stopped overthinking. Finally, each action that seemed like a mountain to climb became a leisurely walk. They were no longer things I couldnt do, but things that were now part of my personality. Its really amazing what practice and exposure can accomplish.
Where Can I Get A Social Anxiety Test
Your healthcare provider is your first point of call to assess whether you might meet the criteria to be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Your doctor will do an assessment to determine if your symptoms are caused by any underlying physical health conditions. Your doctor may then refer you to a psychiatrist or a psychologist who specializes in diagnosing anxiety disorders.
Don’t Miss: What Can You Do For Anxiety
How I Learned Social Anxiety Is Something I Can Work On
My introverted nature did give me an academic advantage though. I studied a lot, got the highest honors, completed three internships prior to graduation, and immediately got a full-time job as a financial analyst. I credit my introversion for keeping me focused all those years, but I severely lacked social skills by the time I entered the workforce. Unfortunately, I couldnt be promoted simply because I had the knowledge I had to interact with colleagues and upper management to prove my worth as an employee. Whats that all about?
Here I was in my mid-20s, and I was socially anxious in every area of my life. One day it hit me that it wasnt sustainable living this way. It was seriously taking a toll on me. I realized that I was perpetuating my own anxiety by not taking the necessary steps to abate it.
Being introverted isnt something we can change, nor should we want to, because its a beautifully woven and intricate design. I love that my energy comes from being alone. Theres nothing I enjoy more than solitude because it truly makes me feel alive in this vast universe of ours. But social anxiety is something we can work on and lessen the stranglehold it has over us. Here are the three steps I took to overcome my social anxiety, although its a constant work in progress.
Visualize What You Want
What exactly do you want? If you haven’t defined this for yourself, then you don’t know where you are headed or how to get there. Do you want more friends, a better job, or simply not to feel anxious all the time? Visualize having those things that you want this will help motivate you to do what needs to be done to get out of a rut.
Recommended Reading: How To Relax Muscles From Anxiety
When Commitment Anxiety Shows Up
Don’t get too close – or maybe you do? Some people suffer from commitment anxiety that they can’t explain to themselves. Do you have trouble committing to a long, deep relationship? Do your partner’s demands feel threatening to you? How do you feel when a commitment solidifies – do you perhaps want to distance yourself again?
The fear of too narrow Relationships is not uncommon. Here you will get a deep insight into the topic and learn how to overcome commitment anxiety.
Reach Out To A Friend
Like one-on-one therapy, reaching out to a friend might be something that feels a little threatening if youre shy or experiencing social anxiety disorder. But if theres someone in your life you trust, initiating conversations with them can help them understand you better.
Theres no need to be ashamed or misunderstood for your social anxiety. By practicing expressing your feelings to a friend, you can learn to open up and feel more comfortable making conversation in general.
You May Like: Does Sex Relieve Stress And Anxiety