Restorations Therapy Blog

The Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder

by on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Social Anxiety Disorder

According to The National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), social anxiety is anxiety triggered either by anticipation of a social situation, or following a social situation. The core of social anxiety is the fear of judgment and evaluation by others. 

Surprisingly, negative and positive judgment both equally affect an individual with social anxiety. The anxiety associated with this disorder lies on a spectrum, or a continuum, of severity dependent upon the individual and how much social anxiety affects them. 

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

When an individual dealing with social anxiety disorder engages in anxiety-inducing social situations, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sweating or trembling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling as if their mind has gone “blank”
  • Nausea
  • Being scared of interaction with others
  • Difficulty interacting with other people
  • Having a hard time connecting with others, even if they want to
  • Rigid body posture
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Speaking in a soft voice
  • Extreme fear or worry of others judging them
  • Staying away from places where other people might be

Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder

As with most diseases, social anxiety disorder sometimes runs in families. However, researchers still do not know precisely why it occurs, mainly when it affects an individual without a family history of the disorder.

Research does point to the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety, and researchers believe that when someone misreads another person’s behaviors, that action may cause or even worsen social anxiety. For example, someone with social anxiety may feel like others are staring at them when they are not. 

Lacking social skills may also contribute to the development of social anxiety disorder. Having low-level social skills may affect individuals by making them feel discouraged after communicating with others and therefore increase their anxiety of doing so in the future.

In learning and researching the brain’s control of fear and anxiety, science may find better treatments at the physiological level, while also examining how environmental factors affect one’s stress levels.  

Are You Looking for Help?

Treating social anxiety disorder depends upon the individual and the severity of the symptoms. Physical issues, or diseases, may contribute to the development or worsening of symptoms.

Counseling, such as group therapy or talk therapy, is usually the first step in treatment for social anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is the most common way to treat social anxiety disorder because it teaches one how to think, behave, and react differently to stress-inducing situations.

Anxiety disorders may lead to subsequent self-medication, and thus substance use disorders with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to alleviate symptoms.

Has social anxiety prevented you from living the life you want to live? Contact us today to get the help you need. Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restorations Therapy works with individuals who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma.

In order to offer patients a more holistic approach to care, Restorations Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us today at (720) 446-6585.

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