Social Phobia meaning:
Social phobia is defined as an anxiety disorder characterized by the feeling of fear and anxiety in social situations of everyday life.
What is Social Phobia? (Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social phobia is the fear of social situations which include interaction with other people. In other words it is the fear or anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. It affects your daily life routine and your life becomes colorless. It is a chronic mental health but it is curable by consulting a psychiatrist.
People having social phobia experience significant anxiety in the following situations:
- Exposure to social situations
- Fear of being judged by others
- Worrying about self-humiliation
- Speaking in public
- Fear of eating in public
- Fear that others will notice your anxious behavior
- Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
- Being the center of attention
- Talking to strangers
- Making eye contact with others
People having social phobia can also depict the following physical symptoms:
- Fast heartbeat
- Shaky voice
- Avoiding eye contact
- Pain in abdomen
- Feeling of blank mind
Like other mental conditions, social phobia can also be caused due to some biological or environmental factors. Following are the possible causes of developing this phobia:
- Inheritance: Phobia disorders like this tend to run in families. Genetics can play a role in the development of social anxiety as these behavioral traits are strongly genetically influenced. However, it isn’t entirely clear how much of this may be due to genetics and how much is due to environmental factors.
- Disorder in Brain Structure: A structure in the brain called the amygdala is believed to play a role in handling the fear responses. People having overactive amygdala may have higher fear responses, causing increased anxiety in social situations.
- Harsh Experiences: People who experience teasing, bullying, ridicule or humiliation in their childhood are more likely to develop social phobia or social anxiety disorder. Moreover, other negative events in life such as family problems, trauma or abuse, may be associated with social phobia.
- Physical condition: People having some physical disorder are in constant fear of being ridiculed or bullied by others and this situation can lead them to develop social phobia or social anxiety disorder.
Best treatment of social phobia is to consult a physician without wasting any time. Many researches have shown that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the best treatment of curing social phobia.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
The American Psychological Association defines cognitive-behavioral therapy as “a system of treatment involving a focus on thinking and its influence on both behavior and feelings.”
People facing social phobia can also try various other relaxation methods to overcome their anxiety. Examples of such methods are: massage, meditation, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture. However, one can’t fully recover through these methods, only CBT can help people struggling with this phobia to make permanent progress by changing irrational thinking into rational thinking.
It is a famous saying that prevention is better than cure, so if you want to keep yourself safe from this kind of phobia, it is recommended that you follow the following precautions:
- Self-assessment: If you face any uncommon situation in your daily life, it is highly suggested that first of all you should evaluate yourself. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is possible that you have developed the social phobia and either you need treatment or you can control it by yourself.
- Early help: This mental condition is harder to treat if you wait so it is strongly recommended that you should not wait of it being controlled by itself rather you should immediately consult a physician and get proper treatment.
- Avoid using drugs: Most people get panicked in such situations and rather than getting proper treatment, they start to consume drugs which gives them metal pleasure for some time but they don’t know that use of drugs can even worsen the situation, so it is highly recommended that rather than using drugs to overcome social phobia you should get proper treatment by consulting a physician.