Social Anxiety Disorder - Introduction And Treatments
Social Anxiety Disorder is also referred to as being a Social Phobia. This condition is present in an individual when they experience anxiety and a heightened self-consciousness when they are in social settings. This anxiety is overwhelming and is present in almost any social setting. However, the individual may find that certain social settings provoke a more heightened anxiety response. Individuals with this disorder are often excessively conscious of the people around them and are overwhelmed by self-conscious thoughts and feelings of embarrassment and insecurity. Individuals with a social anxiety disorder will often dread upcoming social events and will struggle with immense amounts of worry and anxiety as the event draws near. Sweating, nausea, and difficulty concentrating and speaking have all been associated with this condition.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments have been found to be effective for the treatment and relief of social anxiety disorder. Typically, this type of therapy treatment is most effective when worked through with a counselor or psychiatrist. However, the CBT can also be done independently if a person is willing to work through the process on their own. However, having success on one’s own will require significant dedication. It is usually easier to make changes in one’s life if you have a support person who is able to encourage you along the way.
It requires time and effort to overcome a social anxiety disorder. Although the symptoms of this disorder can feel extremely overwhelming there is potential relief and treatment options that have been shown to be fairly effective for this disorder. The following are four ways that individuals with social anxiety disorder have found relief from their symptoms.
Setting goals. Setting small measurable goals is a great way to promote growth in an individual. Set small goals for yourself. Challenge yourself to face your fears in small measurable increments. For example, challenge yourself to spend 5 minutes in a social situation that provokes anxiety and worry in you. Set a small goal that you believe you could meet. Once you have reached your goal challenge yourself to extend the amount of time that you are spending in the social situation.
Learn how to relax. Through controlling one’s breathing an individual can gain control of their anxiety and promote relaxation in their body. When an individual begins to feel their anxiety build they can focus on their breathing. Through breathing in for 4 seconds, holding one’s breath for 2 seconds, and releasing one’s breath for 4 seconds an individual can put their body into a relaxed state.
Challenge the negative messages that are anxiety producing. If you feel that other people around you are thinking negative things about you and making judgements about you, try to test the negative thoughts. For example, if you feel that everyone around you is always thinking negative things about you go to the grocery store and ask several people that walk by you what they are thinking about. Although this exercise sounds anxiety producing you will be surprised to find that most people are busy thinking about many other things other than you.
Change your self talk. If you feel bad about yourself chances are you are going to feel even worse about yourself in social settings. Identify things that you love about yourself and continually remind yourself of your valuable assets, strengths, and unique traits. Focus on the positive components of yourself and find special ways to remind yourself of these things. For example, you could write positive notes of encouragement to yourself on your bathroom mirror or put inspiring uplifting quotes on your door. Through continually promoting positive thoughts you can limit the focus that gets put on negative and anxiety producing things.