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General Practice 2023

Social anxiety: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Social anxiety: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Social anxiety: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, corresponds to the difficulty presented by the person in interacting socially, presenting a work in public or eating in front of other people, for example, for fear of being judged, feeling humiliated yourself or other people noticing your weaknesses.

Social anxiety can be quite disabling and interfere with work performance and social contact, which can lead to the development of other psychological disorders, such as severe depression and agoraphobia, which is the fear of being outdoors, closed or being inside a crowd, for example.

Treatment of social anxiety disorder should be done by a psychologist or psychiatrist who may indicate, depending on the degree of the disorder, the use of anxiolytic drugs to reduce anxiety symptoms.

Symptoms of social anxiety

When people who suffer from social anxiety disorder are or feel exposed to situations that require a little more interaction, for example, some symptoms arise such as:

  • Increased heart rate;
  • Increased respiratory rate;
  • Red face;
  • Trembling;
  • Trembling voice;
  • Muscle tension;
  • Nausea;
  • Dizziness;
  • Excessive sweating.

Symptoms of anxiety and nervousness are normal when they arise before or during a job interview or presentation. However, when symptoms arise in various situations, especially when you are around other people, it can be a sign of social anxiety disorder, and the person should seek psychological treatment.Know how to recognize other symptoms of anxiety.

How to identify

Social anxiety disorder can be identified through characteristics presented by the person, such as:

  • Difficulty interacting and talking to other people;
  • Fear of public speaking and on the phone;
  • Fear of eating in front of others;
  • Fear of giving your opinion on a certain subject;
  • Fear of walking or working in front of other people.

People with social anxiety worry a lot about other people's evaluation of them and usually avoid talking or performing certain actions for fear of what others will think and fear of feeling humiliated, which hinders their performance at work and in social relationships. Therefore, they tend to isolate themselves, being oblivious to different situations.

Possible causes

Social anxiety disorder is more common in early childhood or adolescence, however treatment is only sought when there is the development of another disorder, such as a learning disability, for example, which can make the treatment of this disorder a little more complicated.

This disorder can be due to low self-esteem, overprotective parents, social rejection, fear of exposure, or previous traumatic experiences. These situations make the person lose confidence in himself and doubt his ability to perform any task, not seeing his potential and, therefore, he is afraid that other people will notice that he is not capable.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for social anxiety disorder is mostly done with therapy sessions. The treatment performed by the psychologist or psychiatrist aims to help the person discover the reason why he cannot interact or act in a natural way in front of other people and, thus, help him to overcome these barriers so that the person does not feel so concerned about the possible opinion of other people.

Therapy is also important so that the negative thoughts that normally arise in social anxiety disappear, making the person see things without too many worries, improving their quality of life.

In addition, depending on the degree of social anxiety presented by the person, the use of medication may be recommended to reduce anxiety symptoms, especially when symptoms interfere with the person's quality of life. See which are the most suitable remedies for anxiety.

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