Going out is grossly underrated, social phobia is a thing, and people should pay more attention to what it entails. We will be doing that in this piece, and hopefully, we will break new ground in a societal ill-felt all over the world.
Social phobia is a condition that entails an individual getting fidgety or feeling reluctant to participate in outdoor activities. This condition is also known as a social anxiety disorder. It can be divided into two main types: specific, in which one or more situations are feared, and generalized, which encompasses fear of multiple conditions. Here, we will be running through the types and leading you on the path to recovery, but first, we have to identify the symptoms.
Just like the saying that goes “different strokes for different folks,” social phobia varies from person to person. Here are some of the most common signs that an individual is going through social phobia.
1. Physical symptoms
If you are going through social anxiety disorder, you are significantly more likely to show off symptoms such as stomach distress, intense blushing, palpitations, amongst other things. These reactions are pretty similar to an individual suffering from a panic attack, and they are reasonable indications of social phobia.
Social functions aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that is why some people find it super easy to cancel out on a variety of functions. However, some individuals are less enthusiastic than their peers, which is a sign of social phobia. That is what leads to a sense of dread, a feeling of fear, and a hint of helplessness. That’s when the anxiety becomes crystal clear, and you find yourself feeling worse than you thought when such an occasion was further down the calendar.
3. Judging oneself
No one likes getting judged, especially when the harshest words are coming from oneself. That is a sad reality that comes with social phobia, and it is a significant symptom to hold accountable for the detrimental effects. You may become hyper-aware of how you walk, talk, chew and perform other everyday actions. These actions would inadvertently lead to self-criticism, taking the person down the rabbit hole of social phobia.
Like every potentially severe health condition, social phobia can only be diagnosed by trained mental health or medical professionals. It isn’t something that a Google survey can detect, and resorting to self-diagnosis would lead to all harm and no good.
Furthermore, it is also imperative that you let the professionals do their job with zero interference. That is the only way they can properly analyze what’s up with you and the stage of shyness that you are in. If you “do their job” for them, it would almost surely lead to a conflict of interest and a toxic work environment for both of you.
No two cases of social phobia are the same, and conditions typically vary from patient to patient. That is the progression of social phobia that is generally considered to be typical.
1. Initial warning signs
Typically, social phobia doesn’t show off out of the blue, as patients usually show signs of timidity during childhood and early adolescence. Such symptoms could include being reluctant to answer questions in class (even though they know the answer) and feeling less than eager to participate in school-oriented social activities.
2. Age at the first onset
Social phobia can occur at any stage of an individual’s life, but it happens more frequently around thirteen. That is large because it is at that stage that children typically get their first taste of freedom. Social phobia in young teenagers and kids is only diagnosed when it persists for a period exceeding six months.
3. Progressive Effects
Untreated social phobia is a recipe for disaster, and its progressive effects aren’t so pretty. When left unattended, social phobia could lead to difficulty at school, places of work, home, and even at the gym. What’s more, sustained isolation could lead to even more problems along the line.
4. Siamese Disorders
Anxiety and self-isolation that come with social phobia have been proven to have long-lasting consequences on the individuals affected. These are significant factors that lead to personal ills such as alcoholism, drug abuse, addiction, depression, and a host of other self-inflicted damages.
Untreated social phobia can become a sordid web, and it could be detrimental to a quality lifestyle. That’s because, over time, it will become more challenging to sort out the condition and seeking a mental health professional might be futile. However, with timely treatment, the prognosis is significantly favorable.
You can treat social phobia with medication, therapy, and or alternative treatment. Several professionals recommend a combination of all three forms of treatment.
The medication used for treating social phobia falls under four categories.
- SSRIs: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, work by affecting the level of serotonin in the brain. They are typically known for combating depression, but they are also helpful for easing the dire effects of social phobia.
- MAOIs: Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) block an enzyme that breaks down certain neurotransmitters in the brain. They are typically known for combating depression but are also helpful for easing the dire effects of social phobia.
- Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are sedatives commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, including social anxiety. They curb phobias by battling the effects of social anxiety
- Beta-Blockers: Beta-Blockers also come in handy, although they aren’t as effective as the above medications. However, different strokes for different folks, so you should consult your doctor before using it.
Several therapy models can effectively treat social anxiety disorder. One of the most popular treatments for social phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Another reliable model is psychoanalysis, which focuses on intensive group seminars and behavioral techniques.
3. Alternative Treatment Methods
These forms of treatment are more unorthodox compared to the other ones on the list. But, that doesn’t mean that they do not work. Some individuals find relief from alternative treatment methods such as hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and homeopathy.
Remember, no two individuals are the same; as such, one treatment method for social phobia could work for one and not as much for the other. The right step is to try a couple out and see the ones that work best for you and your mental wellbeing.
Social phobia is not a death sentence, and it is not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination. People who live with social phobia can still live reasonably everyday lives, even though they have to put in the significantly extra effort. What’s more, depending on the severity, your social phobia might feel like a manageable annoyance or a truly distressing condition.
People living with social phobia are more likely to get agitated by weird situations, crowded rooms, and a host of things that would mean nothing to another folk. Things such as traveling might represent an arduous task to overcome, and meeting new people remains a no-no. That’s why it is essential to surround people with chronic cases of social phobia with love, admiration, and loyalty. For them, it’s the little things that count.