Dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder

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Social Anxiety Disorder

Many people grow nervous or self-conscious before giving a speech or interviewing for a new job. Social anxiety disorder, often known as social phobia, is more than shyness or worry. Especially unfamiliar ones or in which you believe you will be judged or observed by others. These possibilities may be so terrible that simply thinking about them makes you feel uneasy, or you may make great attempts to avoid them, causing a major disturbance in your life.

Even while you know your fears about being evaluated are unwarranted and overdone, you can’t help but be nervous. No matter how painfully shy you are or how bad the butterflies are.

Social anxiety disorder signs and symptoms

You don’t have a social anxiety disorder or social phobia because you occasionally become uneasy in social situations. Many people have shyness or self-consciousness, but it does not interfere with their regular lives. On the other hand, social anxiety disorder causes severe distress and disturbs your everyday routine.

For example, getting the jitters before giving a speech is quite natural. You may worry for weeks ahead of time, call in sick to avoid giving the speech, or begin shaking so violently that you can hardly speak.

Social anxiety disorder emotional indicators and symptoms include:

In regular social interactions, excessive self-consciousness, and anxiety

Anxiety that lasts days, weeks, or even months before a social occasion

Extreme fear of being watched or evaluated by others, especially strangers

Fear of embarrassment or humiliation as a result of your actions

Fear that people may realize how frightened you are

Behavioral symptoms and signs:

You avoid social interactions to the point where your activities are restricted or your life is interrupted.

To escape notice and embarrassment, keep quiet or blend into the background.

Everywhere you go, you must always bring a friend with you.

Before a social occasion, have a drink to help you relax.

It takes a little more effort on your part to start a conversation with someone who is shy or has a social anxiety disorder (SAD). People with SAD experience anxiety and often need to relax before communicating in both one-on-one and group circumstances.

Here are some suggestions for conversing with someone who is socially apprehensive. 

You can take these steps to encourage someone with SAD to speak up more and participate in conversations.

Say something about yourself first.

Because they are often afraid of being embarrassed and judged, many shy or socially anxious persons prefer to listen to others rather than talk about themselves. Telltales and reveal things about yourself before asking too much of the person with SAD.

Use conversation starters that are open-ended.

When you do start asking inquiries of the person with SAD, make sure to ask open-ended questions like “What did you think of the Oscars last night?” Avoid asking a series of yes/no questions since this may make the other person feel like they are being interrogated.

Be patient and try to understand them.

When you offer questions, give the other person plenty of time to react before adding additional comments. People may need more time to compose their responses to queries because they are often afraid of speaking up, shy, or socially nervous.

Giving a Compliment is a great way to start the day.

Positive feedback and demonstrating that you are engaged and interested in the conversation will go a long way toward promoting more sharing. Compliment the other person on something they said throughout the chat. “I truly appreciated your perspective on stay-at-home moms,” for example.

Concentrate on your passions.

Inquire about a specific issue if you know the person with SAD has a strong interest in it. You may notice that the discussion flows more readily after the speaker talks about something familiar and engaging.

Keep an eye on your body language.

Avoid invading the other person’s personal space and conversing in an “in-your-face” manner. To make the other person feel more at ease, match your body language and how you speak to them.

Personal questions should be avoided.

Do not ask extremely confidential inquiries until you know the person well. Many persons with SAD have difficulty expressing themselves and are afraid of closeness. Save those types of queries until after the getting-to-know-you stage, in more intimate interactions.

Could you not get in the way of their thoughts?

It takes courage and effort to open up, disrupting their flow of thought, thus causing anxiety. Please make every effort not to interrupt the SAD person when speaking.

Suggestions for Activities

When you’re ready to end the conversation, say how much you liked talking with the other person. Invite people to join you for an activity if it’s appropriate. Most shy or socially anxious people are more comfortable than casual talk when participating in a shared task.

Social anxiety disorder treatment

Although social anxiety disorder is a difficult condition, it is curable. After obtaining proper treatment and acquiring coping skills, many people can manage social circumstances. Treatment for social anxiety disorder comprises medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two, as with other anxiety disorders.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been quite successful in treating social anxiety disorder. Medication for social anxiety disorder is prescribed to help with anxiety and discomfort. The amount of time it takes to recover varies from person to person, but you must stick to the treatment plan.

Ways to Help Someone with Social Anxiety Disorder

“You’ve got to get your act together!”

When a coworker caught me weeping in the staff restrooms at an event, she felt the tough love approach would help me snap out of it. Instead, it made me feel even more ashamed and exposed, confirming my status as a freak who needed to hide my disease.

When confronted with anxiety, onlookers’ natural reaction appears to be to advise the person to quiet down, which makes things worse because the sufferer is trying to relax yet unable to do so.

“Don’t be a fool. Everyone is too preoccupied with their own life to pay attention to you.”

A buddy said that bringing this up might help me get rid of my little notions. Regrettably, no. I was concerned that everyone in the room was evaluating me badly at the time. Anxiety over social situations is a crippling condition. So, even though I knew deep down that no one was looking at me, the teasing thoughts continued.

“Can you tell me why you’re worried?”

This is one of the most perplexing questions I’ve ever heard. But it’s a question that everyone close to me has asked at least once over the years. I’m sure I’d be able to find a bloody answer if I understood why I was so worried! Then, asking why serves to demonstrate how naïve I am. Nonetheless, I can’t say I blame them. Humans are wired to ask inquiries and try to figure out the problem. We like figuring out how to solve problems.

Don’t make statements like this to a buddy suffering from anxiety. Here are five practical ways you may assist them:

1. Use their feelings to your advantage

It’s important to realize that anxiety isn’t a logical condition. As a result, a sensible approach is unlikely to assist, especially in a stressful situation. Rather, attempt to work with your feelings. Accept their anxiety and be patient and compassionate rather than being confrontational. Remind them that the emotion will pass while they may be upset.

Recognize that the person is worried and work with irrational thinking. “I understand why you’re feeling that way,” you may say, “but I can promise you that it’s just your nervousness.” It’s not true.”

2. Concentrate on their emotions

Don’t inquire as to why the individual is nervous. Instead, inquire about their feelings. Please encourage them to make a list of their signs and symptoms. Allow the suffering to experience without being interrupted. Allow them to weep if they want to. It will relieve the pressure more quickly.

3. Use strategies to divert your attention

Consider going for a stroll, reading a book, or playing a game. My buddies and I frequently play word games like I Spy or the Alphabet Game when experiencing severe anxiety. This will divert the worrying brain’s attention and allow the person to relax naturally. It’s also enjoyable for everybody.

4. Wait patiently

When it comes to anxiousness, patience is a virtue. Avoid losing your cool or snapping at the individual. Before taking action or attempting to help the individual comprehend what is occurring, wait for the worst phase of the assault to the peak.

5. Finally, be amusing!

Laughter, like water, extinguishes tension. When I’m in a bad mood, my buddies know how to make me laugh. For instance, if I remark, “I feel like everyone is watching me,” they will answer, “They are.” They probably think you’re Madonna or something. If you sing, we might be able to generate some money!”

Final Takeaway

What’s the bottom line? Anxiety is difficult to live with, but many methods aid with patience, love, and compassion. You are taking care of someone who suffers from social anxiety. If you see any of the symptoms listed above in someone you know, you should talk to them about it and recommend seeking professional help. Offer to accompany them to their doctor’s appointment. Learn about the disorder to better understand the person’s situation. Be patient and helpful, and if the treatment is taking longer than expected, keep encouraging the person to keep going.

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