What Are the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options For Social Phobia?

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Social phobia or social anxiety is one of those conditions that are experienced by many, but are not necessarily understood.
Although a huge percentage of people around the world are known to suffer from this, it remains.
It's so unknown in fact that even patients of social phobia do not know whether it exists or not.
{What is social phobia}? Anyone can experience severe shyness and anxiety over a job interview, a public presentation, or meeting someone for the first time.
Most people manage to get through these situations when they have to.
However, for a small percentage of people, fear, shyness and anxiety that result from such situations and events can sometimes be so overwhelming that they go through lengths to avoid them.
Social phobia or social anxiety is a fear-based condition that involves intense fear or anxiety over social situations, particularly social situations that could possibly expose the person to being critiqued or evaluated by others.
This fear is usually so intense that people suffering from social anxiety often get overly anxious even by just thinking of their fears and this fear remains long after the situation is over.
In short, the sense of fear preoccupy the sufferer.
The thing is, most patients know that their fears are irrational and somewhat overblown.
Nevertheless, they are still easily overcome by their fear.
{What Provokes Social Anxiety} Underlying social anxiety is the fear that the patient will suffer embarrassment, scrutiny and judgment in public.
Thus, the following situations could often prove very stressful for people who are suffering from this condition: - {Meeting with new people} - {Talking with figures of importance} - {Being in the limelight} - {Being watched by others while doing something in public} - {Being teased or criticized} - {Taking exams and tests} - {Performing on stage} - {Engaging in a small talk} - {Talking to someone on the phone} - {Public speaking or addressing a group} - {Attending social gatherings or parties} {Symptoms of Social Phobia} There are two categories of the symptoms of social phobia.
{Psychological} - Intense worrying for a long period of time in anticipation of an upcoming event.
- Extreme fear over being watched by other people, particularly people you are not familiar with.
- Excessive level of self-consciousness.
- Abnormal fear about acting in public that could cause humiliation or embarrassment.
- Avoidance of situations, mostly social situations, that limits one's activities.
{Physical} There are many physical symptoms of social anxiety as well including shaky voice, excessive sweating, muscle twitching, pounding heart, tight chest, dizziness, clammy hands, hot flashes, nausea and upset stomach.
{Getting Help} While it may seem that patients of social anxiety are beyond help, there are actually quite a lot of tools and strategies that can be used to treat the condition.
From medications to lifestyle modifications and psychological tools, patients have a choice of treatment.
Some very useful lifestyle modifications include getting adequate sleep, withdrawal from alcohol and smoking, and limiting the intake of caffeine.
Medications that could help with the symptoms of social phobia include beta-blockers, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines.
Therapies and treatments that may help resolve the symptoms altogether include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), exposure therapy and group therapy.
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