Anxiety is a very common problem that affects millions of people in the world. It can be a condition that causes serious distress or annoyance and it all depends on how severe the attack is and the duration of the episode. There are many types of anxiety that can occur including social anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
Social anxiety can make you feel extremely self-conscious, cause severe distress, and is likely to result in panic attacks. They can also lead to a fear of public speaking and keep you from engaging in social activities.
Social anxiety is more likely to affect men than women, but it can occur in both sexes. Many sufferers may not realize they suffer from social anxiety until they are asked about it. They will often avoid making eye contact with others, find themselves closing down when socializing, and avoiding being in situations where it would be most welcome.
Social anxiety can also lead to a fear of physical contact and being embarrassed or judged when having a conversation. It can also make you feel anxious and short-tempered in public.
People with this condition may tend to perceive other people’s behavior as suspicious and hostile and may even believe that the symptoms of anxiety are normal. They can experience feelings of fear and anxiety in situations such as driving, going shopping, attending lectures, exams, and interviews. The symptoms of social anxiety can make the person feel overly nervous and distressed.
Symptoms include excessive sweating, hot flashes, insomnia, inability to concentrate, dry mouth, muscle tension, dizziness, headaches, stomach problems, and frequent urination. Often sufferers will self-medicate by taking drugs, nicotine, alcohol, and sleeping tablets.
In many cases, anxiety is treated as a condition that happens to many people but it can be a symptom of another underlying condition. It is therefore essential to rule out any conditions that could be causing anxiety before taking medication. People who have a serious phobia will have very different feelings to those who are suffering from social anxiety.
Various reasons can cause social anxiety, for example, a traumatic experience in childhood, a condition like Asperger’s syndrome or OCD, medication side effects, a personality trait such as shyness, depression, low self-esteem, or fear, or a personal or family history of anxiety and panic disorders. You should also consider whether the anxiety is chronic or episodic and what the course of the illness is.
During treatment, it is common for patients to move through several stages. Some will find that after a period of treatment the problem of anxiety is gone and it is no longer necessary to take medication, but for others, the situation may become more severe. One important thing to remember is that the way you choose to handle your anxiety is vital to help you get back to feeling healthy again.
If you are suffering from social anxiety and suffer panic attacks, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Whilst medication can help, the condition cannot be cured in itself. Once you have made the decision to use medication to treat your condition, be open about it with your doctor and keep them up to date with your progress.
With the help of your doctor, you can learn to modify your approach to anxiety so that you are able to reduce the symptoms and control the anxiety effectively. It is possible to overcome social anxiety and all its debilitating effects.