Social Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Mind “blanks out”
- Panic or panic attacks
- Anxiety or feeling anxious in front of others
- Intense fear of judgment
- Fear or dread in social situations
- Very self-conscious, embarrassed, or even awkward with others
- Difficulty communicating
- Avoidance of triggers and social interaction
- Rigid body position and soft voice in social situations
- Cannot or struggles to make eye contact
- Sensitive to criticism
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic negative self-talk
It should be noted that these vary from person to person, and they are not always going to be present in the same manner in each specific person. In addition, for kids, some of the symptoms might vary as well.
Kids might have more emotional outbursts such as tantrums, crying, or fearing the thought of leaving their caregiver in a social setting. These symptoms will present differently in specific situations. Still, if people have a few of the same symptoms with specific triggers in social settings, it might be a sign that there needs to be an assessment regarding this condition with a medical professional.
Causes and Risk Factors of Social Anxiety
The causes and the risk factors can be complex, and they are not always the same for each individual. That’s why medical professionals will have to thoroughly assess every patient to ensure that they have signs of the disorder, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach.
Some of the possible causes or risk factors are rooted in genetics. For example, if someone’s father or mother has social anxiety, they will likely develop the same condition. Another causation happens to be specific life events that prove to be adverse and cause the individual significant stress and damage to their mental health. These can be troubling and cause the person undesired stress and even anxiety.
Parenting can also lead to how people develop certain disorders. For example, if parents are too protective, their kids can develop irrational fears about the world around them and prove to be unable to cope with ordinary stressors and interactions.
It is important to note that someone who has a genetic connection to a parent or relative with a social anxiety disorder does not mean that they will develop the condition. It simply means there is a higher risk associated with their potential to develop the disease. These causes and risk factors vary from person to person, but they can produce the disorder and its symptoms in individuals.
How Social Anxiety is Diagnosed
- Persistent fear of social situations or one specific situation socially
- Fear of acting in a way that is perceived negatively by others
- Avoiding social problems that might produce anxiety
- Experiencing these symptoms for six months or longer
- The patient shows signs of disruption in one’s daily life as a result of their conditio
How Social Anxiety is Treated
While some might not think of this as the first optimal option for their social anxiety disorder, this can significantly help. One of the primary methods that have been used for many years is cognitive behavior therapy, also known as CBT. CBT helps you to understand how, why, and the ways that you respond to specific situations.
It can help you learn more about yourself and learn coping mechanisms as well. This can be done in groups or even individually. However, it should be noted that not every individual responds to this treatment. While it helps and is non-medicated, it is still not adequate for those who need more interaction to overcome their situation.
For those who want to have community support from others, this can be a fantastic option! People can attend these groups and share their stories, learn that they are not alone, and talk through solutions with their group and their group leader. These are great and have been used for other conditions as well.
There is one issue to note, however, and that is that it is a group setting. Not everyone feels comfortable attending these group therapies, which is why other methods must be sought after. Additionally, people might also suffer from a chemical imbalance that support groups cannot repair independently.
Neuroplasticity involves rewiring your brain and retraining the loops that are failing you at the current time. Again, your condition is not you, but you still have a system that needs to be coaxed into the proper path to relieve you of your symptoms.
With social anxiety, your root cause is that you have a trigger, and your body fights to respond to stress. Instead of allowing your body to continue coping with the situation through avoidance behavior, re-origin’s proprietary solution will help you face your fears and uncover the path to rewiring your response to your trigger. We can help you by training your body to recognize that the trigger is not fear-inducing, that you can control your situation, and that you can overcome this specific situation. The benefit is that there are no medications, and you can do this on your own time. This treatment is up to you. At re-origin, we help to empower you to see that you are in charge of how you take control of your treatment through our heavily supported program.
How to Live and Cope with Social Anxiety
You might think that you have to live with social anxiety, but you do not have to live with it your entire life. Our goal is to help you overcome your social fear, eliminate the need for medication, and begin to live a peaceful and happy life once more. Through gradual exposure, we believe that you can indeed train your brain to recognize that there is no danger and that you are allowed to feel in control and comfortable in social situations. This incremental training is part of our neuroplasticity program that we can offer you to help you eliminate your social anxiety symptoms over time.
The key is to make sure that you follow a proven system born out of proven methodologies. Fortunately, we have spent the time and effort to research what we have created at re-origin. After numerous studies and experience with this condition, we trust and believe our program is one of the best to help you not only cope with your situation but train yourself out of the symptoms and find peace in your life again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Conclusion and Final Word from re-origin
- National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Social Anxiety Disorder: Recognition, Assessment and Treatment. Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2013. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 159.) 2, SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK327674/