Social disorder, also referred to as social anxiety disorder is defined as a persistent fear of one or more performance situations. A person living with social anxiety disorder will worry before and after any relevant event or performance activity and this level of worry will be out of proportion to the ‘threat’ or activity to be undertaken.
Social disorder very much embodies the premise of anxiety where an individual is fully focused on “what people think of them”.
How do I know if I or someone I know has social anxiety disorder?
The most common activities or ‘threats’ associated with social disorder is speaking in public, this could be new groups, larger groups, one on one, meeting new people, being in new environments, eating in public and putting work or ideas in front of another person. More detailed behavioural signs include: – extreme worry about meeting new people or being in a new environment – fear of speaking on the phone to both strangers and friends/family – unable to perform tasks if another person is watching or you perceive people to be watching – Blushing, shaking when talking in public regardless of the size of group – Significant levels of low self-esteem – Rely on supporting substances to gain confidence in a situation or to feel able to undertake a situation; common examples include alcohol consumption and drug taking – Likely to have other mental health challenges, particularly depression, generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder
Are there any physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder?
Yes, an individual with social disorder may experience all or some physical symptoms, and these can often be used to assist in a diagnosis. However, it is possible for a person to experience no physical symptoms and still live with social anxiety disorder.
Common physical symptoms include:
– Sweating, sweaty palms
– Trembling, especially when speaking
– Shortness of breath and fast shallow breathing
– Stomach complaints and dull aching in stomach
– Quickened heartbeat
– Mind wandering and difficulty concentrating
– Dizziness and nausea
How can I get rid of my social anxiety?
Social anxiety often starts in a person’s teenage years and can develop into a long-term disorder. It is uncommon for social anxiety disorder to simply go away on its own without any supporting treatment or therapy.
There is no set treatment for social disorder due to the individualised nature of the anxiety. To overcome social anxiety disorder, it is imperative to understand the root cause and tackle any self-worth issues which underpin social disorders. A combination approach of multi-discipline therapy provides mindset altering treatment as well as day to day supporting tactics from neuro-linguistic programming and CBT.