Posted on May 23, 2008 | Comments 5
Do you experience intense, debilitating fear during social interactions?
If so, you might be suffering from social anxiety disorder, which can make you feel trapped and locked away from the world.
Itâ€™s quite normal for us to feel nervous or self-conscious in certain social situations.
For instance, giving a gift or going on date for the first time can give you that uncomfortable or anxious feeling of having butterflies in your stomach.
But, for some people, even certain common daily social situations like speaking at lunch time with their colleagues or classmates, can cause extreme nervousness or fear and become weak in engaging people.
This kind of feeling nervous to act in common social situations in life is usually referred as social anxiety disorder or social phobia.
Social anxiety disorder usually takes place in your adolescence and can turn into most severe form in your late teens and also in your 20â€™s.
In almost 25% of all individuals, it starts in their early childhood. Most of the people with this social phobia gradually learn to avoid stressful social situations in order to decrease their nervousness temporarily.
As the time passes, this leads to complete social isolation. Many researches mainly signify that this social phobia if left untreated can tend to become as a chronic mental illness.
Having shyness is not a social anxiety disorder!
While explaining social anxiety disorder, it is very important to identify that shyness is entirely different from having social anxiety disorder.
Shyness is an uncomfortable feeling of anxiousness, which you can feel while talking with other persons where as having social phobia is to feel extreme anxiety or averting of certain social situations due to intense fear of embarrassment or awkwardness.
Traumatic event can increase the risk of social phobia!
Certain traumatic events in your life such as accidents can increase your risk of developing social anxiety disorder. Most of the people who have experienced traumatic events can eventually develop post traumatic stress disorder and also social anxiety disorder and they are more likely to develop depression.
However, social anxiety disorder usually requires help from an experienced medical expert or any qualified psychotherapist. You can even try certain self-help techniques to handle the situations of this social anxiety disorder. Some of those effective techniques can significantly include:
- Developing a habit of eating with your close relative or friend in a public setting can help you a lot in improving your social interactions.
- Being first to say hello or making an eye contact while greeting others can also work well.
- Giving someone a compliment or preparing for conversing like reading newspapers in order to find an interesting issue or story to discuss.
- Focusing on improving your personal qualities which you like most apart from being an introvert can be helpful for you to manage well in several social interactions.
These are certain simple techniques which can help you greatly in improving your social interactions. Initially it can be much difficult for you to follow these techniques, but once you get adapted to it, you can realize the importance of these guidelines.