Social anxiety disorder is evident when you have a very uncomfortable feeling in crowds, even if the crowd is made up of only your own loved ones. From Christmas family gatherings to family gatherings of a hundred or more, crowds can scare some people. It is a fear that they cannot control. It affects many people around the world, and to a greater or lesser degree it affects everyone who copes with it. It is a painful disorder that causes loving people to not participate in family gatherings such as birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas celebrations, Hanukkah, and all the holidays celebrated by humanity that involve crowds of people gathering. There is intense fear in social situations. There is help for you if this applies to you, I am happy to say. Your doctor will be able to help you with your social anxiety disorder. Thus, you can live a more normal life, rather than one paralyzed by overwhelming fear.
Do you tend to fear social situations? Some of the symptoms of this anxiety disorder are:
* Fear that everyone is looking at you
* Fear that everyone will judge you, your appearance, your actions.
* Fear of making a mistake and embarrassing himself or his loved ones
* Fear that others are better than you
* Fear that everyone around you knows all your faults and defects.
Fear can trigger an anxiety attack or a panic attack, and you aggravate it in the sense that your fear of either of these will happen and increases your fear of humiliating yourself in public. Even if the “public” is your child’s home. An anxiety attack or panic attack cannot be hidden unless you have been taught steps to reduce or stop it, either through therapy or medication. In both there is shortness of breath, nausea, palpitations, sweating, palpitations, and sometimes spasms of the pectoral muscles that feel like a heart attack. This is very scary for you and for those around you.
Never confuse shyness with social anxiety disorder, as the two are very different. Feeling shy in some situations can be very painful, but it doesn’t come with overwhelming fear. While more women than men have this disorder, it crosses all racial, social, and religious lines. Without proper treatment by a professional, this can take over a person’s life. It usually begins in childhood and can be as simple as not being able to do an oral report on a book. This is how it started with me. I would turn in three written book reports instead of facing the humiliation of standing in front of the class doing an oral book report.
While social anxiety disorder is sufficient on its own, it is generally found in people with other anxiety disorders. Too often, the person cannot cope, does not know what to do, and self-medicates with illegal drugs or alcohol. Of course, this leads to substance and compound abuse, it doesn’t help the main problem. How many of our drug and alcohol abusers self-medicate due to a mental disorder and don’t know it? Treatment for social anxiety disorder must be decided by your doctor. He or she will help you control your fear. This disorder does not usually go away, but your doctor can, with treatment such as therapy and possibly medication (short-term or long-term), help you live a happy normal life that you are in control. I don’t promise an end to your fear, but I know it can be controlled to the point where you can enjoy family gatherings, even family gatherings! Yes, you can live a socially active and enjoyable life.
Written by Janice Fox-Henley