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Social Anxiety Disorder – What You Need To Know

Posted By: Chris Scarborough on August 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia refers to the constant fear of being evaluated or criticized by other people. Excessively self-conscious to the point that they feel that everyone around them is looking at them and judging them harshly are the people who suffer from social phobia. They would then be anxious, nervous, and afraid of the world around them. People with social phobia would see parties and other everyday social situations as highly intimidating ordeals.

When it comes to this problem, the key is that those who suffer from social anxiety want to be liked. They want very much to be seen as witty, dynamic and sociable. What they want is to fit in. But due to the fact that their anxiety about not performing well in public is so strong, their best efforts are therefore crippled. They freeze when they meet new people, particularly if they want these people to like them, for instance because they feel attracted to them or because they look up to them. They are afraid that their anxiety will be noticeable and this fear causes the anxiety to grow and turn into a vicious cycle.

Usually developing early is social anxiety and it can be a chronic, unrelenting, and torturous condition if it doesn’t have adequate treatment. However, with suitable care, it is possible to overcome social phobia altogether.

Social anxiety disorder is often associated with other psychiatric disorders and it is an illness that customarily runs a chronic course. When it comes to social anxiety disorders, the duration is frequently lifelong. Yet in these times, there is no need for it to be. Within the reach of nearly all sufferers is the significant improvements in the quality of life.

From a neurobiological point of view, low levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotomin are commonly associated with social anxiety. Research shows that people with social phobia are five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in later life – Parkinson’s is caused by abnormally low levels of dopamine. But from a pharmaceutical point of view, providing very efficient treatment for social phobia are drugs which boost levels of these neurotransmitters.

The CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and CGBT (Cognitive Group Behavioural Therapy) are among the most effective of the psychological treatments. In supportive environments, social phobics can learn to address their fears and can steadily overcome them. With the help of a therapist, these people can find a more constructive way to view their fears and they can also develop strategies for coping. The advantage of group therapy is that they can meet and interact with fellow sufferers, which will help them to realize that they are not facing their problems alone.

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