Anxiety disorder is described as excessive anxiety and worry about several events or activities. Unlike the rather mild and brief anxiety caused by a stressful event, anxiety disorders last at least six months and may worsen if they are not getting immediate treatment.
Anxiety disorders usually occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, such as drug abuse and alcohol abuse, which may perhaps mask the anxiety symptoms or make them worse. There are several types of anxiety disorders and one of them is social anxiety disorder or social phobia.
Social anxiety disorder is diagnosed if you become tremendously anxious and extremely uncomfortable in everyday social situations. It is understood as extreme fear in the aspect of social interaction. They can worry for days or weeks even before the dreaded situation.
This anxiety may become so severe that it may affect daily activities. Social anxiety is a medically recognized disorder that harshly hinders the value of life. People with social phobia have an intense, persistent, and constant fear of being watched and judged by others.
Various causes are suspected, especially in the combination of genetic composition, early growth and development, and later life experience. These causes are categorized into the following:
Genetic disposition: it is possible that child of one or both shy parents may inherit genetic code that amplifies shyness into social anxiety disorder.
Ethology: averting the gaze is very usual with social anxiety disorder.
Development: social anxiety emerges at different developmental stages. Solitude becomes more important as anxiety about physical looks and performance in school increases. We also know that traumatic stressful events in life occurring at an early developmental stage may increase the risk of social anxiety disorder.
Chemical disorder in the brain: people with anxiety disorder may have abnormalities in the functioning of some parts of their anxiety response system. The anxiety system is influenced by four areas of the human brain namely; the brain system (cardiovascular and respiratory functions), limbic system (mood and anxiety), prefrontal cortex (appraisals of risk and danger), and motor cortex (control of muscles).
There are people with social phobia who realize that their fears about being with people are overwhelming and irrational, but they find it difficult to overcome them. If they are able to confront their fears and be around with others, they are usually very worried ahead of time, and extremely uncomfortable throughout the whole encounter, and worry about how they were judged the whole time afterwards. But, this illness is curable with certain kinds of psychotherapy or medications.
The physical symptoms that usually accompany social anxiety disorder include, blushing, too much sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. When these symptoms occur, people with social anxiety disorder usually fell as though all eyes are focused only to them.
The next time we see someone from a party or any social functions and we someone looking uncomfortable, we should not pay more attention to them like we usually do. For all we know, that person might be struggling deep inside trying to overcome his or her fear.