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How Do You Know If You Have Social Anxiety

Who Is This Anxiety Quiz For

How Do You Make Friends if You Have Social Anxiety? | Kati Morton

Below is a list of questions designed for people who are experiencing anxiety-inducing thoughts. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder . If youd like to learn more about anxiety read Psycoms guide, Tell Me All I Need to Know about Anxiety.

Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.

Stop Complaining And Blaming

Perhaps you were dealt a bad hand in life. Maybe you had a controlling mother or a father who put you down. Although these life experiences may have contributed to your social anxiety, you don’t need to let them continue to influence the course of your life. Start taking responsibility for your actions and behavior.

Try An Herbal Supplement

If you really feel like trying something medicinal, but aren’t yet ready to broach the topic of medication with your doctor or psychiatrist, consider trying an herbal supplement from your drug store.

There are many herbal supplements that are used in managing anxiety however, it is important to know that herbal supplements are not regulated by the United States Food & Drug Administration the same way that traditional medications are evaluated. Be sure to read about any cautions, warnings or medication interactions before taking an herbal supplement.

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Psychological And Emotional Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder

The physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can be powerful, but the psychological and emotional symptoms of the disorder are just as significant and disabling.

Severe social anxiety produces excessive self-consciousness during interactions with other people, and the self-reflections of social anxiety sufferers tend to focus exclusively on worst-case scenarios.

The psychological and emotional symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Intense fear of being negatively judged, based on inadequate social performance
  • Constant worry about saying or doing something embarrassing
  • Feelings of severe awkwardness or inferiority around authority figures
  • A fear that others will notice the social anxiety sufferers discomfort and reject them because of it
  • Extreme reluctance to express opinions or initiate conversations, motivated by a fear of being dismissed as stupid or pushy
  • A disproportionate feeling of giddiness or satisfaction at being praised or applauded by others
  • A powerful desire to never be the center of attention
  • Anticipatory anxiety: a debilitating fear of social situations before they arise
  • Feelings of shame and inferiority during actual social encounters
  • Harsh self-judgments following conversations or other interactions with people

The fears of socially anxious people are not based on a realistic assessment of the possibilities.

Treatment For Social Anxiety Disorder

SOCIAL ANXIETY

Several types of treatment are available for social anxiety disorder. Treatment results differ from person to person. Some people only need one type of treatment. However, others may require more than one. Your healthcare provider may refer you to a mental health provider for treatment. Sometimes, primary care providers may suggest medication to treat symptoms.

Treatment options for social anxiety disorder include:

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Symptoms Of Social Phobia

People who have social phobia can experience internal and external symptoms.

Internal symptoms include:

  • Fear of being judged, embarrassed, or rejected.
  • Feeling that everyone is watching them.
  • Belief that anxiety is a sign of weakness.
  • Belief that they are stupid, and other people are smarter and more confident than them.

External symptoms include:

  • Trouble talking or making eye contact.
  • Increased heart rate.

People who have social phobia often realize that their fears are not rational or warranted. However, they may still dread social situations. They may even go out of their way to avoid events. If they do go to an event, they usually feel nervous before the event and uncomfortable during it. Afterward, the unpleasant symptoms and feelings may linger as they worry about what people thought of them.

The Intense Fear Makes It Very Difficult To Have A Healthy Social Life

Social anxiety disorder goes beyond being shy or introverted. It involves an extreme fear of social interaction and it interferes with an individual’s daily life.

The symptoms of social anxiety disorder usually begin around age 13, and symptoms persist into adulthood. Most people with social anxiety wait at least 10 years to get help, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Whether you think you may have social anxiety, or suspect someone you know suffers from it, here are the most common things people with social anxiety disorder do:

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What Social Anxiety Is Not

With this lack of clarity within definitions as well as sufferers not clearly understanding that their anxiety symptoms may indicate social anxiety disorder, its not surprising that physicians and mental health professionals often misdiagnose the condition.

The Social Anxiety Institute reports working with socially anxious patients who have been misdiagnosed as having clinical depression, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Some of this confusion may be due to the newness of social anxiety as a mental disorder. Shyness has been described in literature since around 400 B.C. However, the terms social phobia and social neurosis werent used until the early 1900s to describe the psychiatric disorder of extreme shyness. Even then, this mental disorder wasnt fully recognized by the medical community until 1985, when it was included in the third edition of the DSM. The description was revised in 1989 to include avoidant personality disorder and generalized social phobia.

Living With Social Phobia

Social Anxiety: Here’s How to Spot the Signs

Social phobia can make it hard to go to work, school, or take part in daily activities. It can affect your ability to make and keep friends. It is not a condition that you should have to deal with alone. Talk to loved ones and your doctor to begin treatment. It is common to choose a combination of therapy and medicine. Your doctor should monitor your treatment and progress.

People who have social anxiety may experiment with and become dependent on the use of alcohol or illegal drugs to manage a situation. This puts them at higher risk of substance abuse.

Diet and exercise also is important in managing the symptoms of social anxiety. This includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine and over-the-counter cold medicines.

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They Worry Other People Will Notice Their Fear

Whether they speak up in a meeting or they try to make small talk with an acquaintance, people with social anxiety worry that their anxiety is noticeable. They tend to experience physical symptoms, such as a flushed face, sweaty palms, trembling hands or shortness of breath, and they’re convinced everyone else can tell when they’re nervous.

What Causes Social Phobia

Social phobia is about twice as common in women as it is in men. Most people begin to notice it as children or teens. The condition can be genetic and run in families. Other potential factors include hormones and environment. For example, race, culture, economic status, and neglect can increase a persons risk. Social phobia also can be related to other conditions, including depression, other anxiety disorders, or addiction.

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What Does It Feel Like

Again, the experience may be different for everyone, but if you have social anxiety and youâre in a stressful situation, you may feel:

  • Very self-conscious in social situations
  • A persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being judged by others
  • Shy and uncomfortable when being watched
  • Hesitant to talk to others
  • The need to avoid eye contact

You also might have physical symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Inability to catch breath
  • An âout-of-bodyâ sensation

You may start having symptoms and getting anxious immediately before an event, or you might spend weeks worrying about it. Afterward, you could spend a lot of time and mental energy worrying about how you acted.

Using Social Isolation As A Coping Mechanism

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Social withdrawal can be anything like distancing yourself from friends and family, disconnecting from social apps, not responding to calls or messages, and even finding it way too hard to reply to emails.

The feeling of withdrawal is itself a symptom of anxiety. Some people who deal with stress feel left alone. But, although you may give yourself some private time, it will only add to your worries when dealing with anxiety. Dealing with any sort of mental health issues is only good when done around people whom you trust.

Being able to recognise your withdrawal as a sign of anxiety is the first step. Thinking of getting help is where your wellness begins.

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How To Practice Focused Meditation

Here are six tips to help you practice focused meditation. Based on your availability and interest, these tips may change and evolve. Thats the point: to create a structured practice that caters to your needs.

1. Find a Comfortable Seat

As with any meditation practice, comfort is truly key. The physical body responds to meditation practice by alerting you to whether it is comfortable and supported or stressed out and in pain. This is best observed in practitioners who tend to slouch and lose the tall, supported spine that is essential to meditation practice.

A simple rule in meditative sitting is to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees. Therefore, choosing to sit in a chair instead of on the floor may be a smart decision or perhaps propping yourself up on a cushion. For meditation techniques overall, it does not matter how you sit. All that matters is that you are supported and comfortable sitting for some time.

2. Choose Your Object of Focus

Every meditation training session is going to be different because no single day is the same for any one person. Therefore, experienced meditators know that choosing an object is more about listening to what you need at this time versus following any doctrine or rule.

3. Set Your Desired Time or Go With the Flow

Likewise, if you have the time, you can also listen to your body and come out of your meditation when you feel its right to do so. This is often a beautiful practice of listening and tuning in.

You Avoid Social Situations Including Using Public Restrooms Eating In Front Of Others Or Attending Parties

Those with social anxiety avoid triggering situations when possible. For example, maybe its hard to use a public restroom if you know others are in the stall next to you or lined up outside the door, waiting for you to finish. So you may avoid this all together. Or you may be anxious about eating in front of others: Your anxiety may cause your hands to tremor, youre overly concerned whether youll have food in your teeth, or even whether you will order the right thing.

Or perhaps going to a party brings up anxiety about how to keep a conversation going in a social setting. Introverts are often bored with small talk and group social interactions feel draining, so you may also be worried about how to end conversations or sneak out without offending anyone.

Similarly, have you ever left a conversation or group interaction and felt increased anxiety after it ended? You may find your overthinking introvert brain replaying what happened, what you shared, and what the responses of others were. Did you talk too much, did you not talk enough, did you overshare, is what you shared dumb, did you make a fool of yourself? Its never usually what may have gone well. Along with all of these self-critical thoughts, you likely also felt that intense fluttering in your gut of anxiety or dread.

Even if you have social anxiety, there are coping skills you can use to not let social anxiety take control over you.

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Avoid The Usual Temptations

If you have a bad habit of wasting too much time on the internet or watching television instead of socializing, try cutting back or making it educational time in terms of learning about SAD and social skills. See how much time you gain to focus on overcoming your social anxiety and building your social skills.

Buy Yourself A New Outfit

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Retail therapy is obviously no cure for social anxiety, but sometimes clothing really can make you feel like a new person with a new attitude. Try to get yourself out of a rut by purchasing something outside your comfort zone. Choose a unique accent piece both to try something new and to give others a conversation starter when they first meet you.

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Finding Help For Severe Social Anxiety

Despite the depth and intensity of its symptoms, severe social anxiety is highly responsive to treatment. The first step is to receive an accurate diagnosis for the condition , and once that takes place the recovery process can begin.

And the age of diagnosis is irrelevantanyone can eventually overcome the most disabling symptoms of social anxiety disorder, if theyre willing to ask for help.

Recovery regimens for social anxiety sufferers usually include a combination of psychotherapy , medication , social and life skills training, andholistic mind-body techniques for stress management and improved emotional control. Long-term care for social anxiety is a necessity in most cases, withcounseling and therapy at the forefront of the recovery program.

For those who feel overwhelmed by severe social anxiety symptoms, and for those with co-occurring mental or behavioral health conditions, inpatient treatment programs administered by mental health professionals in a residential treatment facility can be tremendously beneficial.

In this peaceful environment, social anxiety sufferers will receive full, complete, and unconditional support from staff and peers alike.Evidence-based therapies and complementary treatment services will be provided by experts who understand the depth of suffering that severe social anxiety can cause.

You Avoid Situations Even If You’ll Miss Out On Opportunities

When missing out on a social situation means missing out on a particularly fulfilling professional or personal opportunity, introverts are generally able to find the motivation to participate. Social anxiety, however, may be a roadblock.

” required to give a speech for a class or your work, but you find a way not to do it, even though it sets you back,” Rodebaugh says. “Many people dislike speeches and find them difficult, but if you are getting in your own way by avoiding them, it might be time to consider working on your social anxiety.” If you find you’ve skipped networking events, dinners, or other opportunities out of fear, then you may want to check in with a professional.

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They Get Tired Easily

And they may sleep more or may be too exhausted to engage in normal activites. Think about it. They spend all of their waking hours that are outside of their safe places worrying about what situations they may find themselves in, what they will say if addressed in any manner, how they will cope with a meeting at work or a class discussion in school. Their brains are relentlessly churning, and that can be exhausting. Rather than criticizing them for their tiredness, how about putting yourself in that mental situation? Would you be exhausted? Of course you will be! Rather than criticizing them, suggest a short time out or nap.

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