Social Anxiety Disorder, also referred to as Social Phobia, refers to elevated anxiety in social situations stemming from fear of possible criticism by others. Millions of Americans suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder. According to the Social Anxiety Institute, over 7 percent of the American adult population suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder. The symptoms of this complex disorder lead to misconceptions about those who suffer from it.
Social Anxiety Symptoms
Social anxiety symptoms are triggered when an individual is placed in a social situation they are uncomfortable with. These situations range from something big such as being introduced to an authority figure or being the center of attention to something less significant such as attending a party. The common theme among all potentially anxiety-inducing scenarios is that they involve a social setting. The resulting physical symptoms include, but are not limited to:
● Blushing or feeling warm
● Racing heart
● Dry throat
● Muscle twitching
● Dizziness or lightheadedness
The resulting physical symptoms of social anxiety often lead to avoidance of everyday activities as well as important life events. Social activities that may be hindered by Social Anxiety symptoms include:
● Attending interviews
● Going to work/school
● Using a public restroom
● Showing up to social events
● Asking for help
Social Anxiety Perceptions
Because Social Anxiety symptoms frequently prevent people from engaging in the social aspects of every day life, they may be misunderstood by those around them. More specifically, indivduals with Social Anxiety Disorder are often viewed as aloof, withdrawn, snobby or unreliable. With treatment, indivdiuals who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder can lessen the severity of their symptoms and engage in a more fulfilling interpersonal life.
Social Anxiety Treatment
According to a 2007 study from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 36 percent of people with Social Anxiety Disorder reported experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking treatment. We are social creatiures by nature. Therefore, it is important to tackle these symptoms before they takeover one’s life.
The good news is this, Social Anxiety is treatable. Speaking with a mental health professional about your symptoms and developing a plan to address them is a big first step in addressing and ultimately overcoming the obstacles that are holding you back.
Contact Dr. Arian Elfant Today
If you or a loved one in the New Orleans area is experiencing Social Anxiety symptoms, Dr. Arian Elfant is available to answer your questions and address your concerns. Contact Dr. Arian Elfant online or call (504) 319 - 6800.