What is it? When does this happen in your life? What does it feel like?
What are some causes? When does it show up? How does it affect us? What are the results of this? Lets YAC about it!
Defined by Wikipedia:
"Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others. Individuals with social anxiety disorder fear negative evaluation from other people."
So.. What Does This Mean?
Is it simply saying hello to a random person as you walk down the street? Or having trouble making eye contact when you speak to others? Maybe it's being afraid to talk to that special someone... but you just can't muster up the courage. It's all of these things and more! Like being late and afraid to enter the room, using the public washroom, not wanting to go to school or work, going to parties, eating in front of others and even just starting conversations. It's every one of these things and much much more.
What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?
There is no one specific thing that causes SAD, but there are a few things it could be linked to! Genetics can pass on social anxiety. Studies show that if you have a family member with a social phobia you are more likely to develop it as well. Social Anxiety Disorder can also be linked to having an overactive amygdaloid (this is your brains fear response.) It can be a combination of environmental factors and negative experiences. As it is most common to occur around age 13 it is usually linked to a history of abuse in the form of bullying or teasing. Some also become affected by their appearance and worry or stress about potential judgment due to their physicality or disabilities. Whatever it is - it is NOT your fault.
What Are The Symptoms?
Physical Symptoms: Psychological Symptoms:
-stomach trouble or diarrhea -worrying
-rapid heartbeat -stressing
-not being able to catch your breath -avoiding situations
-muscle tension -fear of being judged
-out of body sensation -nervousness
-dizziness or lightheadedness -fear of embarrassment
-blushing -relying on substances to
-excessive sweating attend social functions
-trembling or shaking
How Is It Treated?
There are many different ways to treat social anxiety, you may find some, none, or all helpful. From cognitive behavioral therapy to work on controlling your anxiety through breathing and relaxation practices to group or exposure therapy. There are also things you can do at home like getting plenty of sleep, avoiding caffeine, or getting medication prescribed by your medical practitioner.
Let's YAC About It!
We all have different levels of social anxiety, generally speaking, we seem to have the constant fear of being judged by others in social settings. We'll be YACing about certain events in our lives where we have experienced some or all of the symptoms above. This blog is an introduction to a four-part series and our last installment will introduce all sorts of resources and ways to find the help you need. Thank you again for everyone who got to this point- and again, don't be afraid to YAC about it!
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and are not able to provide licensed medical advice. This is simply a platform to relay information and share about mental illness.
Healthline. (2018). Social Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/social-phobia#outlook [Accessed 23 Nov. 2018].
WebMD. (2018). What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder#1 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2018].
En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Social anxiety disorder. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_anxiety_disorder [Accessed 23 Nov. 2018].