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Mental Health

How is social anxiety eating our society?

You tend to take too much tension in some circumstances if you have a social anxiety disorder, often known as social phobia. You might, for instance, avoid any contact with other people since things other people would consider “normal” make you uncomfortable, such as small conversation and eye contact.

It’s possible that all elements of your life, not even just social ones, will begin to come apart. Social anxiety is eating our society.  In the United States, roughly 5.3 million people suffer from a social anxiety disorder. Despite being this frequent among the people, social anxiety still lags in receiving medical help and proper medication. It usually begins in the adolescent years.

It’s one of the most frequent mental disorders; therefore, it’s normal if you also have it. The tricky part is being willing to ask for assistance. With constantly increasing statistics of social anxiety among people and lack of medical assistance, we can suspect how social anxiety eating our society

What happens is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Many individuals with this disorder fear only one or two situations, such as speaking publicly or starting a conversation. However, in social circumstances, some feel anxious and fearful.

The symptoms of social anxiety disorder can appear in a variety of ways. However, there seem to be a few everyday situations in which people struggle:

  • Making small talk with strangers
  • Speaking in front of an audience
  • Establishing eye contact
  • Getting into rooms
  • Making use of public restrooms
  • Attending parties
  • Eating in the presence of others.

Socially anxious individuals have a variety of reasons for dreading certain situations. But, in general, it’s a paralyzing fear of:

  • In social contexts, being judged or observed by others
  • Being embarrassed or humiliated and displaying it by sweating, blushing, or trembling.
  • Offending someone by accident.
  •  Having the spotlight on you.

What social anxiety feels like?

Again, everyone’s experience would be different, but if you do have social phobia or anxiety issues and are in a problematic scenario, you might feel like this:

  • In social circumstances, feeling extremely self-conscious.
  • Fear of being evaluated by others is constant, intense, and chronic.
  • When you’re being watched, you’re shy and uneasy (giving a presentation, talking in a group)
  • When it comes to talking to others, you may be hesitant.
  • The importance of avoiding eye contact

An individual may experience bodily signs and symptoms such as:

  • A fast heartbeat
  • Tension in the muscles
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Blushing
  • Sweating or crying
  • Diarrhoea and stomach pain
  • Breathing problems
  • A sensation of being “out of the body.”

You can start feeling symptoms and becoming concerned right before an occasion, or you might worry about it for weeks. After that, you could waste too much time and mental effort second-guessing your actions.

What is the root of this problem?

A number of variables can contribute to social anxiety disorder. Genetics probably play a part: you’re most likely to develop it yourself if you have a close family member with social anxiety. It’s also possible that it’s linked to an overactive amygdala, the region of the brain that controls our fear reaction.

Around the age of 13, social anxiety disorder develops. It may be related to a history of bullying or taunting. Shy children and children with forceful or controlling parents are more likely to grow up to be socially nervous adults. In addition, you may have social anxiety if you develop a health problem that draws more attention to your look or voice.

What Impact Will It Have on Your Life?

You can’t live your life to the fullest because of social anxiety. You’ll refrain from situations that so many people regard as “normal.” You might be perplexed as to how others can handle things so quickly.

It impacts your relations if you ignore all or most social interactions. It can also result in:

  • Low self-confidence
  • Negative thoughts
  • Depression
  • Criticism sensitivity

How is Social Anxiety Disorder treated?

The two best therapies for social anxiety disorder are prescription, medication and behavioural therapy. Both may be delivered at the very same time. Here are some specifics about each of them:

Prescription medications: For some people, using a prescription drug is a simple and successful way to manage social anxiety disorder. The medications function by aggravating the unpleasant and frequently humiliating effects. Medications can significantly minimize your symptoms in some cases.

However, some people may have an adverse reaction to a medicine, while others may not benefit. There is no way to know whether or not a drug will benefit you. It’s not uncommon to explore a few approaches before settling on one that works.

Some FDA-approved drugs are Paxil, Zoloft, Luxov and Effexor to treat social anxiety. While these are the only drugs quite much approved for the illness, other medications may also be effective.

Pros and Cons of medication

Medication has the advantage of being reasonably practical and only needing to be taken once a day. However, there are certain drawbacks.

To begin with, medicine only addresses symptoms. Your symptoms may reappear if you stop taking them. Second, anxiety drugs might have adverse effects on certain people. Headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and sleep disturbances are some symptoms.

In addition, FDA-approved drugs for social anxiety-like all pharmaceuticals used to treat mental illness, come with a warning. According to the FDA, the drugs may trigger or exacerbate suicide thoughts or actions in young persons under 24. Therefore, subjects taking these medicines must be watched for suicidal tendencies. 

If you’re taking meds for social anxiety disorder, contact your doctor right away if you start to experience any adverse side effects, such as feeling sad and depressed. Also, never stop taking medication for anxiety without a doctor’s prescription. Stopping medication for anxiety abruptly can have significant consequences.

Behavioural therapy with a skilled therapist can assist you in identifying and changing the thoughts that make you uneasy in social situations.

For social anxiety disorder, exposure treatment is a sort of behavioural therapy often utilized. Exposure therapy involves progressively exposing you to awkward social settings & waiting until you feel secure. Then, your mind would realize that a social scenario you were terrified of is not that horrible during this process.

Other methods for treating social anxiety disorder have also been tested. They are as follows:

Relaxation Therapy: Relaxation Therapy is a therapeutic strategy in which you learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation.

Beta-blockers are drugs developed to treat excessive blood pressure and other cardiac conditions. On the other hand, Beta-blockers are beneficial in treating some patients with “performance social anxiety,” a sort of social phobia.

You’re at this stage when you’re terrified of performing, such as giving a public speech. Beta-blockers are not beneficial in the treatment of generalized social anxiety disorder. However, if you’re afraid of a particular situation that will occur at a precise, predictable time — like delivering a speech to a class — they might be able to help.

What is an eating disorder?

Psychological conditions lead to the development of harmful eating behaviours. They may begin with a food, weight, or body form concern.

Eating disorders and social anxiety often have serious health consequences if left untreated, and in extreme cases, they can even lead to death.

Eating disorders and social anxiety can present themselves in several ways. On the other hand, the majority involve severe food restrictions, binge eating, or purging behaviours like vomiting or excessive exercise.

Eating disorders are psychological problems characterized by a preoccupation with food or body image. Although they are more common in young women, they can affect anyone.

Some of the Eating Disorders types are:

1. Anorexia nervosa

The most common of eating disorders types is anorexia nervosa.

It usually emerges in the adolescent years, and more women than men are affected. People with Anorexia misunderstand themselves to be overweight, despite being dangerously underweight. They prefer to keep a close check on their body, avoid certain foods, and reduce their calorie consumption to a minimum.

2. Bulimia Nervosa

A more common crisis among eating disorders types is bulimia nervosa.

Bulimia, like Anorexia, appears to be more common in males than in women and develops between teen years. Bulimia patients commonly consume large quantities of food in a short period.

Bulimia nervosa patients eat a lot of food in a short period and then purge. As a result, despite being at an ideal weight, they are afraid of gaining weight.

3. Binge Eating Disorder

Although it can occur at any age, it is more frequent in youth and early adulthood. This disorder has symptoms similar to bulimia or the anorexia type of disordered eating.

For example, individuals frequently consume large amounts of food in a short period and experience a loss of control during binges.

Binge eaters consume large quantities of food in brief periods on a regular and uncontrollable basis. However, unlike those with other eating problems, they do not vomit.

4. Pica

Pica is yet another eating disorder characterized by the consumption of non-food items. Pica patients strongly need non-food items, including ice, mud, soil, chalk, soaps, paper, hair, fabric, yarn, stones, bleaches, or cornstarch.

Both adults and toddlers are affected by Pica. This sickness, however, is most common in children, pregnant women, and persons with mental problems. Foodborne illness, infections, gastric disorders, and nutritional deficiencies may be more common among Pica sufferers. But, depending on the things consumed, it can be lethal. 

Pica patients have a strong desire for and consumption of non-food substances. This condition is more likely to impact youngsters, pregnant women, and people with mental illnesses.

5. Rumination Disorder

It’s a condition where a person keeps repeating food that they’ve already digested and swallowed, re-chews it, and then swallows or spits it out. Typically, this rumination happens within the first thirty min after a meal.

This condition can manifest in childhood, adolescents, or adulthood. It commonly appears in newborns and subsequently disappears on its own. However, the illness frequently necessitates therapy for both children and adults.

If left untreated, rumination problems in babies can cause weight loss and poor nutrition, fatal.

Rumination disorder often makes an individual limit his meal intake. This could cause people to lose fat and become underweight as a result.

People of all ages can be affected by rumination problems. The disorder causes people to regurgitate the food they’ve just swallowed. As a result, they may either spit, swallow or chew it again. 

Frequently asked questions

Q) Who is most affected by social anxiety disorder?

Ans. The disease is more prone to develop in naturally introverted people and those who have endured trauma such as childhood abuse or neglect.

Q) Is social anxiety disorder curable?

Ans. Social anxiety disorder is curable. People can overcome their symptoms using individual therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and medicines.

Q) What are the symptoms of social anxiety?

Ans. A fast heartbeat, the tension in the muscles, lightheadedness and dizziness, blushing, sweating or crying are some of the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

Q)  Does Anorexia Shrinks Your brain?

Ans) Cerebral atrophy, sometimes known as “starved brain,” is a typical consequence of anorexia nervosa, in which the brain loses mass as a result of fasting.

Q) Does Anorexia affect memory?

Ans) Yes, Anorexia affects memory due to abnormalities in cognitive functions.

Conclusion

According to the ADAA, roughly 36% of individuals do not seek medical help until experiencing symptoms for at least ten years. Drugs and alcohol may be used by people with social fear to deal with anxiety brought on by social engagement.

With treatment, the prognosis for anxiety issues is favorable. However, many people might benefit from therapy, changes in lifestyle, and medication to help them cope with anxiety and thrive in social situations.

You don’t even have to live your life in fear of social situations. Therapy and drugs can help you act better and feel more at ease in social situations, but it may take several weeks to see results.

School, daily activities and work activities may be harmed due to this Social Anxiety Disorder. However, the good news is that social anxiety disorder can be successfully treated. Read this article to know more about social anxiety disorder.

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