What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health disorder characterized by anxiety and overeating self-awareness of everyday social situations. People with this disorder have a very strong fear constantly being noticed, judged or judged, and humiliated by others for their actions Many people often feel anxious about certain social situations, but people with this disorder will feel very afraid to face it before, during, And after interacting with other people everyday.
Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia and is one of the most common types of phobias. This condition often affects confidence, relationships with others, and decreases work productivity or school performance
Social anxiety disorders can be experienced for a particular situation, such as fear of speaking or public appearances, and fear every time with others. This condition can become severe until the patient does not want to go to work or go to school again. On the other hand, patients will also increasingly difficult to interact with others.
Social anxiety disorder generally begins in childhood or adolescence, and is rarely suffered by someone over the age of 25 years. This condition tends to be experienced by women and is often accompanied by depression or other anxiety disorders, such as excessive panic or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Actually, people with social anxiety disorders are aware that they have a nuisance, but they are not able to cope despite trying. Many sufferers try to treat themselves by drinking alcohol or taking drugs. It is precisely the risk of causing addiction. In fact, this condition can be overcome with psychological counseling combined with the drug from the therapist in order to restore confidence and improve the ability of the patient to interact with others.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of social disorder may change over time. Symptoms usually appear when the patient faces certain pressures or demands. Symptoms that can arise can be:
a. Physical symptoms, including:
- Heartbeat is fast.
- Nausea or stomach upset.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Muscles become tense.
- Take out a lot of sweat, shaking.
- Face flushed with embarrassment.
- Showing a stiff posture.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Talk too softly.
b. Symptoms of emotions and attitudes, including:
- Avoid interactions with other people or strangers, including refusing to attend parties or social gatherings.
- Reluctant to eat in front of others.
- Reluctant to use public toilets.
- Feeling afraid to be nervous, fearful of being cared for, and afraid of embarrassing oneself
- Anxiously waiting for fear of encountering an event or event.
- Spend time analyzing looks and looking for weaknesses when interacting with others
- Always suspect the worst consequences when in a social situation based on personal experience.
- Excessive panic when fear and anxiety are over the limit. This panic attack usually lasts for several minutes.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorders
Social anxiety disorders can occur due to a combination of a number of factors, including:
- Heredity. Disturbance of social phobia tends to occur for generations within the family. However, it can not be determined whether this is caused by genetic factors or is more likely to be a learned attitude based on the experience of others.
- Environment. Social anxiety disorder is a learned attitude. That is, this attitude can develop in a person after seeing anxiety in others. In addition, people with social anxiety disorders are generally dealt with by parents who are too restrained and controlling their children.
- Brain Structure. The fear response is strongly influenced by the inner structure of the brain called the amygdala. When the amygdala is too active because of anxiety in social situations, the fear response grows.
Diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder
A person is diagnosed with social anxiety disorder if it meets the standard criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), namely:
- A person experiences fear of one or more social situations, in which the person has the possibility of meeting another person or being observed by another person.For example, meet with strangers, observed while eating or drinking, or having to perform in public.
- Someone has a fear that he will do something shameful or judged badly by others.
- A person almost always experiences great anxiety while in a social situation.
- This dreaded situation is likely to be avoided or faced with excessive anxiety.
- This fear or anxiety has lasted for at least six months.
- This avoidance, anxiety, and panic behavior has significantly affected the academic activity, work, or daily activities of that person.
At the time of feeling anxiety, the person may experience physical symptoms such as:
- Face flushed and sweating
- Body shaking
- Heart pounding
- Empty empty thoughts
- Rigid posture
- Avoid eye contact
- Speaking in a very quiet voice
Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder
There are two methods of treatment that are effective in overcoming social anxiety disorder, namely through psychotherapy and drug delivery. This treatment should be provided by a psychiatrist or trained and experienced therapist dealing with people with social anxiety disorders. One method of psychotherapy for social anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy. This method is generally done to deal with severe cases of social anxiety disorder. The purpose of this method is to reduce anxiety by eliminating beliefs or attitudes that make the phobia of social disorders persist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is performed in three stages. The first stage is to confront the patient in a situation that is frightening to him. The second stage is to create a situation of rejection or criticism, with the aim of building the confidence of the patient slowly and convince the sufferer that he or she is capable of receiving good judgment or criticism. While the last stage is to imagine the most powerful fear of criticism and rejection, and build a constructive response in the face of these fears. The third stage is only done by experienced experts, and only done when the patient feels ready to run it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy generally lasts for 12 weeks and can be done in groups. In addition to behavioral therapy, support therapy for couples or families of patients is also necessary to provide an understanding of this social anxiety disorder.
In addition to these cognitive behavioral therapy methods, appropriate and effective drug delivery also plays an important role to overcome social anxiety disorder. Drugs given in the form of:
- Anti-alliance drugs. Antiansietas drugs such as benzodiazepines can decrease the level of anxiety that works quickly. However, these drugs are usually only used in the short term because of the risk of forming habits and addictions.
- Antidepressant drugs. There are several antidepressant medications, one of which is serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) inhibitors that increase serotonin levels in the brain. This drug is given in low doses initially and can be added after the body of patients accustomed to taking this drug. In addition, other classes of antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase (monoamine oxidase inhibitors / MAOIs) may also be used.
- Beta blockers. This drug aims to withstand the effects of epinephrine (adrenaline) so as to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and muffled a shaking voice. This drug will be effective for controlling symptoms in a particular situation and is not recommended for routine use.
Treatment for social anxiety disorder can not be done in a short time. Treatment of psychotherapy and find a drug that suits the condition of the patient may take several weeks or months.
For some people, the symptoms of social anxiety disorder may subside over time, and the dosage of the drug will be slowly lowered until the patient does not take any medication at all. While for other patients, it takes years of taking drugs to prevent these symptoms reappear. To ensure effective treatment, patients are advised to see a doctor or therapist regularly so that changes in the conditions experienced can be monitored.
If social anxiety disorders are not addressed properly, then the enjoyment of life, relationships with others, achievement in school and workplace will be greatly disrupted. The most severe, this disorder can even make the sufferer attempt suicide.