Social Anxiety: How to Build Your Trust
At 30, Eric still lives with his mom. Her mother finds it sweet, but she doesn’t really know the real reason why. His son cannot be all on his own. He freezes when he goes on interviews in companies, doesn’t have any friends, and prefers to be in a more familiar environment.
Eric is one of the many who are suffering from social anxiety disorder.
What is it?
There’s a huge misconception about social anxiety disorder. It is not just shyness or embarrassment. It is a medical mental disorder where the sufferer develops fear or phobia over social interactions. He doesn’t want to be with people because he always feels he’s going to be ridiculed, put down, insulted, criticized, hurt, and judged by others.
Children exhibit social anxiety disorder, but it is often attributed to their growing process. As they interact more with kids their age, they will definitely outgrow the feeling. However, there are times when the fear doesn’t end, and the kids can carry it until they are in their adolescent and adult stages.
This disorder is very common. In fact, it’s the third most typical mental condition in the United States. More than 19 million are diagnosed with the illness, and though it affects both men and women, it is more prevalent among the latter.
What Are the Different Social Anxiety Symptoms?
The symptoms can vary from one person to another. Others have symptoms so severe they hardly go out anymore, while some have moderate signs they can interact with a few.
You are more likely having social anxiety disorder if you develop intense fear or phobia over social situations such as public speaking. You also find all excuses to avoid possible triggers. You tend to be more conscious of yourself and actions and cannot get your mind off the thought that everybody is looking at you.
Physically, you suffer from faster heart beat, muscle tension, digestive problems, change of bowel movement patterns, confusion, profuse sweating and shaking, muscle tension, and even hyperventilation.
How to Diagnose the Disorder
One of the best ways to know if you’re suffering from it is to take the social anxiety test. An effective social anxiety disorder test is called LSAS or Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, created by Dr. Michael R. Liebowitz. His test aims to determine how social anxiety affects your life and determines which situations trigger the disorder.
Though you can find the test online, it’s best to do it in the presence or with the supervision of a psychologist or therapist for proper diagnosis.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder, fortunately, is treatable; and as a sufferer, you have plenty of options.
The conventional and fast social anxiety treatment is by taking a social anxiety medication like a beta blocker that prevents adrenaline rush when you’re having anxiety attacks. Other options are antidepressants that calm the nervous system and benzodiazepines.
A safe and effective treatment is behavioral cognitive therapy, where your negative mind-set is changed into something positive. With the help of subliminal messages, you can modify your “I feel so insecure when there are people around” to “I am confident of what and who I am.”