Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in social interactions that involve a concern [1] about being judged or evaluated

by others. It is typically characterized by an intense fear of what others are thinking about them (specifically fear of embarrassment, criticism, or rejection), which results in the individual feeling insecure, and that they are not good enough for other people. The results of this are fear and anxiety within social situations, and the assumption that peers will automatically reject them in the [2] social situations. Developmental social anxietyoccurs early in childhood as a normal part of the development of social functioning, and is a stage that most children grow out of, but it may persist or [3] resurface and grow into chronic social anxiety. People vary in how often they experience social anxiety and in which kinds of situations. A psychopathological (chronic and disabling) form of social anxiety is called social phobia or social [4] anxiety disorder, and is a chronic problem that can result in a reduced quality of life. It is approximated [5] that roughly 40 million American adults ages 18 and older (18.1%) have an anxiety disorder. The difference between social anxiety and normal apprehension of social situations is that social anxiety involves an intense feeling of fear in social situations and especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which one will be watched or evaluated by others. The feeling of fear is so great that in these types of situations one may be so worried that he or she feels anxious just thinking about them and will go to great lengths to avoid them. Overcoming social anxiety depends on the person and the situation. In some cases it can be relatively easy—just a matter of time for many individuals—yet for some people social anxiety can become a very difficult, painful and even disabling problem that is chronic in nature. The reasons are unknown. Social anxiety can be related to shyness or anxiety disorders or other emotional or temperamental factors, but its exact nature is still the subject of research and theory and the causes may vary depending on the individual. Recovery from chronic social anxiety is possible in many cases, but usually only with some [6] kind of therapy or sustained self-help or support group work.
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1 Stages

o o   

1.1 Child development 1.2 Adults

2 Disorder 3 Prevalence 4 Causes

o o    

4.1 Low self-esteem 4.2 In children

5 Prevention 6 Communication apprehension 7 Diagnosis 8 Treatment

or speaking to adults.4 Relaxation techniques 8.o o o o o    8. Social anxieties may also be classified according to the broadness of triggering social situations. Adolescents have identified their most common anxieties as focused on relationships with peers to whom they areattracted. Most adolescents progress through their fears [3] and meet the developmental demands placed on them.e. fear of eating in public has a very narrow situational scope (eating in public). public speaking anxiety. Adults[edit] It can be easier to identify social anxiety within adults because they tend to shy away from any social situation and keep to themselves.5 Diet 9 See also 10 References 11 External links Stages[edit] Child development[edit] Social anxiety first occurs in infancy and is said to be a normal and necessary emotion for effective social functioning and developmental growth. .2 Psychoanalytic therapy 8. On the other hand some children with social anxiety will act out because of their fear. timidness. and in children social anxiety causes extreme distress over everyday activities such as playing with other kids. Disorder[edit] Main articles: social anxiety disorder and specific social phobia Extreme.3 Medication 8. blushing. Criteria that distinguish between clinical and nonclinical forms of social anxiety include the intensity and level of behavioral and psychosomatic disruption (discomfort) in addition to the anticipatory nature of the [4] fear. public speaking.1 Cognitive behavioral therapy 8. persistent and disabling social anxiety may be diagnosed as social anxiety disorder.. peer rejection. become anxiety disorders (see below). All of these may also assume clinical forms. stage fright.. More and more children are being diagnosed with social anxiety and this can lead to problems with education if not closely monitored. and past behavior. [4] i.e. The clinical (disorder) forms are also divided into general social phobia (i. etc.. Part of social anxiety is fear of being criticized by others. sweating.g. For example. The experience is commonly described as having physiological components (e. self-consciousness. Cognitive advances and increased pressures in late childhood and early adolescence result in repeated social anxiety. while shyness [4] may have a wide scope (a person may be shy of doing many things in various circumstances). Common adult forms of social anxiety includeperformance anxiety. reading in class. social anxiety disorder) and specific social phobia. The problem with identifying social anxiety disorder in children is that it can be difficult to determine the difference between social [7] anxiety and basic shyness.

8%. Each shares similarities. is Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder.2 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder and it can occur at any time but most often presents in adolescence. avoiding a situation). yet each has been used to define distinct aspects of psychological life as it relates to interpersonal functioning and how easy or difficult different cases of social anxiety are to overcome. in social situations in particular. One theory is that social anxiety occurs when there is motivation to make a [8] desired impression along with doubt about having the ability to do so. Social anxiety disorder may sometimes be symptomatic of an underlying medical disorder. or even early childhood.g. although such problems in living in society may still deserve attention as a matter of [11] social justice. has a moderate probability of inheritance. A continuum describes some of the distinctions yet there is no absolute consensus yet as to where one disorder begins and another ends. although it is [14] widely agreed that there are differences. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. and behavioral components (e. such as hyperthyroidism. Ongoing research on the genetic roots of physical and mental health suggests that the tendency toward feelings of anxiety. however. placing it as the third most common mental disorder in the U. An estimated 19. and social anxiety disorder. Although the "official" clinical name for the disorder. as listed in the DSM and ICD. [4] including by intensity and levels of behavioral and psychosomatic disruption: The validity of the "disorder" diagnosis has been challenged. Clinicians and researchers continue to struggle with definitional problems regarding the constructs of shyness. social anxiety. Prevalence[edit] The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.S. Criteria in the DSM and ICD attempt to distinguish clinical versus nonclinical forms of social anxiety.g. (November 2012) According to the US National Comorbidity Survey. cognitive/perceptual components (e. on scientific and political grounds. Standardized rating scales such as Social Phobia Inventory can be used for screening social anxiety [12][13] disorder and measuring severity of social phobia. . support groups for people who have the disorder (whether through clinical diagnosis or self-diagnosis) often refer [9][10][unreliable source?] to it as simply "social anxiety" or even "SA".blushing). The essence of social anxiety has been said to be an irrational or unreasonable expectation of negative [4] evaluation by others. belief that one may be judged negatively or looking for signs of disapproval).. [15] Causes[edit] The exact causes of social anxiety are still contested. social anxiety has a 12-month prevalence rate of 6. Statistically it is also more common in women [6] than in men. people satisfying DSM social phobia criteria may simply be temperamentally high in social anxiety rather than suffering from a disorder. early adulthood.

" An experiment using Implicit Association Tests. he or she can begin to develop negative beliefs about himself or herself and the world that can cause social anxiety. . rather than boys. Such individuals are more inclined to develop a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Genetic vulnerabilities and/or a biological predisposition. Several studies have found that certain areas of the brain. This then promotes avoidance of situations that may provoke anxiety. especially parental styles characterized by rejection and overprotection. and found that self-evaluative thoughts and actions can come from a person's self-esteem level. Social anxiety can develop from other's perceptions of one's self. The findings show that one's explicit self-esteem can be the factor leading to social anxiety and depression. were more likely to have symptoms of social anxiety and depression. strained family relations).g. thus leading to disorders like social anxiety. Child Anxiety and Depression scales. Negative experiences in life.. may place individuals at increased risk for anxiety. Social anxiety. At around 8 years old. Medications that are prescribed to treat social anxiety affect the levels of neurotransmitters. This in turn leads to them having lower explicit self[18] esteem. such as [16][full citation needed] the amygdalae. and depression. the child's self judgements start reflecting what other people think of them. The negative judgement that a person has towards themselves can be linked to unstable cognitive behavior that they posses. can also lead to the development of social anxiety. and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale was done on adolescent teenagers. These attachment problems can have a bigger influence on the child when they grow up as well. and environmental factors contribute to the development and intensification of maladaptive anxiety. and the way one handles and reacts to them. researchers are still unsure if the differences in these chemicals cause social anxiety. A child that has insecure attachments to their caregiver can also develop low self-esteem. can be more active in individuals with social phobia. However. which causes one to miss the opportunity to prove their negative assumptions about themselves wrong. In children[edit] For children the exact cause of social anxiety is unknown. have been linked to one's explicit and implicit self-esteem. peerrelated difficulties. particularly when faced with stressful or aversive situations (e. genetic. chemical messengers that are responsible for transmitting signals in the brain. Low self-esteem[edit] Self-esteem is how a person evaluates their self based on the qualities they possess. life experiences can be another cause of social anxiety. in which biological. caregivers and influential people around can impact the thoughts individuals have [17] about themselves. However. including a temperamental style of behavioral inhibition and a family history of anxiety. The evaluation children have of themselves can have a huge impact on their psychological well-being and [17] their actions. In this experiment it was also found that girls. Children with low self-esteem tend to dwell on unfavorable attributes. thus having peer groups. "Explicit selfesteem would reflect deliberate self-evaluate processes whereas implicit self-esteem would reflect simple [18] associations in memory. Also family variables such as parenting style and parent – child interaction have received increasing attention and may be particularly relevant in the development of [19] childhood social anxiety. there is a growing consensus towards an integrated. multifactor model. If one is consistently put in situations that make him or her feel inferior or fear the judgment of other people.Another potential cause of social anxiety can be found in the nervous system. Also. rather than focusing on their strengths.

distressing panic attacks.g. When using IIs you can try to anticipate what is going to happen. and by doing this people with low communication skills can try to account for what is going to happen in the upcoming interaction. fewer silent pauses. The functions of IIs is to put into practice the phrase "practice makes perfect". and has high [25][full citation needed] willingness to disclose information. stress. One thing that increases communication apprehension is if the partner is unknown. These two approaches [28] may be used in combination. Diagnosis[edit] This disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it is easily confused with general shyness or paranoia in both children and adults. which can be thought of as an "internally [21] experienced feeling of discomfort". in turn causes ineffective communication when in a social or public situation. high levels of self-esteem. Communication apprehension[edit] Social anxiety causes communication apprehension. children experiencing social anxiety show issues in social perspective-taking ability. . things that can reduce communication [24][full citation needed] Some apprehension is if someone is extroverted.Prevention[edit] Use of cognitive behavioral therapy in a universal prevention program has been found to significantly [20] reduce social anxiety prevalence. According to a study done by Robin and Mills. The feelings of embarrassment. and various other factors Treatment[edit] The two most common types of treatment are psychotherapy and medications. drugs. fewer successful problem solving skills. It can be a combination of life. people who practiced IIs were less likely to have nonverbal displays of apprehension. has good self-control. ―Communication apprehension is the level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or [21] anticipated communication with another person‖. IIs have their theoretical roots in symbolic interactions. The underlying factors that cause symptoms of social anxiety are also hard to [27] determine. inferiority. and use less interpersonal problem solutions. Imagined interactions (IIs) refer to the cognitive process of individuals indirectly experiencing themselves in anticipated future communication interactions with others through the process of imagination. IIs are said to increase the readiness to [23] communicate and decrease the apprehension associated with a communication episode. According to the article "Communication Apprehension and Imagined Interactions". and fewer object adapters. e. needed] Patients with social anxiety typically experience embarrassment. Early communication researchers described [22][full citation physiological sensations experienced while giving a public speech as "profound discomfort". shorter speech on set latencies. and shame inhibit the ability to seek help. These are all things that contribute to helping reduce [26] communication apprehension. and selfconsciousness impairing their speech.

short breaths (also known as hyperventilating). The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. and criticized by others. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. and Ativan. such as reducing heart rate or blood pressure. approach is psychoanalytic therapy. When someone begins to feel anxious. Medication[edit] There are several different types of medications used to treat social anxiety disorder. such as antidepressants like Paxil or benzodiazepines such as Xanax. As a result of the fear. The goal of CBT is to guide the patient's thoughts in a more rational direction when faced with anxiety. it helps the person to stop avoiding situations that once caused anxiety and teaches people to react differently to the situations that trigger their anxiety. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT is a mindfulness based third generation form of CBT. . the person imagines the anxious social situation and works through their fears in a safe and controlled environment. more time-consuming. Avoidance and safety behaviors play a main role in treatment outcome. Calm breathing requires practice but can [citation needed] be very helpful in controlling anxiety. Betablockers. A person with social anxiety disorder is afraid that he or she will make mistakes. substance and alcohol abuse. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and selfconsciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched. is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. also called social phobia. [citation needed] Psychoanalytic therapy[edit] Another. breathing rhythms change from slow constant breaths to quick. Overbreathing (quick short breaths) can lead to feeling more anxious and can lead to a rapid heart beat. because caffeine is a stimulant which increases the heart rate. With systematic desensitization. In addition. which are often used to treat heart conditions. See also[edit] Social anxiety disorder. Relaxation techniques[edit] Relaxation techniques include breathing methods and muscle relaxation strategies. and may also be combined with medication. A recent safety behavior has been described as ―Shadow [29] [6] friend‖ Relaxation or stress managementtechniques may be included in a treatment plan. Cognitive behavior therapy may include systematic desensitization or controlled exposure to the feared situation. CBT may also include role-playing to practice social skills and gain the comfort and confidence in order to relate to others.Cognitive behavioral therapy[edit] The most effective treatment available is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). dizziness and headaches. judged. Librium. Calm breathing or 'diaphragmatic breathing' is a breathing technique used to slow down and control breathing. such as avoiding eye contact. and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. drinking less caffeine may help reduce some of the [32] symptoms. [6] Diet[edit] Changing one's diet may also be of benefit. may be used to mitigate some of the physical [6] symptoms of social anxiety. look bad. the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. and is also [30][31] demonstrating its usefulness in treating social anxiety. Valium. This can be helpful in identifying the [citation needed] sources of anxiety in childhood.

muscle tension. Children with this disorder may express their anxiety by crying. Irrational Fears: The Three Different Kinds of Phobia What Are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder? Many people with social anxiety disorder feel that there is "something wrong. Self-Help. work.2 million Americans have social anxiety disorder. The disorder most often surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in women than in men. and relationships.. the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable. social anxiety disorder can negatively interfere with the person's normal daily routine.people with social anxiety disorder often suffer "anticipatory" anxiety -. Talking on the telephone. such as panic disorder. or throwing a tantrum. including early childhood. Interacting with people. Physical symptoms of anxiety." but don't recognize their feeling as a sign of illness. In many cases. Being the center of attention. including school. In fact.the fear of a situation before it even happens -. after depression and alcohol dependence. An estimated 19. Social Anxiety Disorder & Social Phobia Symptoms. sweating.S. not because of social anxiety symptoms. including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinions of others. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include:        Eating or drinking in front of others. How Common Is Social Anxiety Disorder? Social anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder and the third most common mental disorder in the U. and diarrhea. clinging to a parent.for days or weeks before the event. However. pounding heart. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include:    Intense anxiety in social situations. social activities. upset stomach. Asking questions or giving reports in groups. Social anxiety disorder may be linked to other mental illnesses. including dating or going to parties. blushing. People with social anxiety disorder may be afraid of a specific situation. Without treatment. Writing or working in front of others. yet is unable to overcome it. and Treatment Share: . People with social anxiety disorder suffer from distorted thinking. including confusion. obsessive compulsive disorder. but can occur at any time. shaking. Using public toilets. and depression. Avoidance of social situations. such as speaking in public. most people with social anxiety disorder fear more than one social situation. many people with social anxiety disorder initially see the doctor with complaints related to these disorders.

You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won‘t measure up in comparison to others. or embarrassed in public. your fear of embarrassing yourself is so intense that you avoid situations that can trigger it. also known as social phobia. Social anxiety disorder. With social anxiety disorder. As the best man. is more than just shyness or occasional nerves. you can learn to be comfortable in social situations and reclaim your life. and he‘s afraid that the professor will go around the class and have the students introduce themselves. involves intense fear of certain social situations— especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which you feel you‘ll be watched or evaluated by others. . But no matter how painfully shy you may be and no matter how bad the butterflies. But social anxiety. He always feels so humiliated afterwards. his voice starts shaking and his face gets red. even though it‘s over six months away. He‘s also dreading his brother‘s wedding. Since public speaking is Matthew‘s worst nightmare. IN THIS ARTICLE:         Social anxiety disorder Common triggers Signs and symptoms Challenge negative thoughts Learn to control your breath Face your fears Change your lifestyle When self-help isn’t enough What is social anxiety disorder / social phobia? Matthew’s story Matthew skipped class today. but it really stresses him out. He knows it shouldn‘t be a big deal. he‘s been avoiding a speech class he has to take in order to graduate. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational and overblown. Underlying social anxiety disorder or social phobia is the fear of being scrutinized. It‘s the first day of the new semester. These social situations may be so frightening that you get anxious just thinking about them or go to great lengths to avoid them. judged. you still can‘t help feeling anxious. he‘ll have to give a toast at the reception and he‘s already nervous about it. Whenever he has to speak in front of more than just a few people. like when giving a speech or interviewing for a new job. or social phobia.Many people get nervous or self-conscious on occasion.

weeks. in reality. or start shaking so bad during the speech that you can hardly speak. there are many things that can help. Emotional symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia    Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations Intense worry for days. Social anxiety disorder. But if you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Some people experience anxiety in most social and performance situations. anxiety is connected with specific social situations. Many people are shy or self-conscious—at least from time to time—yet it doesn‘t get in the way of their everyday functioning. Triggers for social anxiety disorder (social phobia) The following situations are often stressful for people with social anxiety disorder:         Meeting new people Being the center of attention Being watched while doing something Making small talk Public speaking Performing on stage Being teased or criticized Talking with ―important‖ people or authority figures         Being called on in class Going on a date Making phone calls Using public bathrooms Taking exams Eating or drinking in public Speaking up in a meeting Attending parties or other social gatherings Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia Just because you occasionally get nervous in social situations doesn‘t mean you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. does interfere with your normal routine and causes tremendous distress. it‘s perfectly normal to get the jitters before giving a speech. a condition known asgeneralized social anxiety disorder. on the other hand. such as speaking to strangers. Many people struggle with these fears. For example. or going to parties.While it may seem like there‘s nothing you can do about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Common social phobia / social anxiety disorder triggers Although it may feel like you‘re the only one with this problem. But the situations that trigger the symptoms of social anxiety disorder can be different. It starts with understanding the problem. For other people with social phobia. The most common specific social phobia is fear of public speaking or performing in front of an audience. eating at restaurants. especially people you don‘t know . social anxiety or social phobia is actually quite common. call in sick to get out of it. or even months before an upcoming social situation Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others. you might worry for weeks ahead of time.

but children with social anxiety disorder or social phobia experience extreme distress over everyday activities and situations such as playing with other kids.  Fear that you‘ll act in ways that that will embarrass or humiliate yourself Fear that others will notice that you‘re nervous Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia        Red face. you may find yourself overwhelmed by thoughts like:   ―I know I‘ll end up looking like a fool. It helps to ask yourself questions about the negative thoughts: ―Do I know for sure that I‘m going to blow the presentation?‖ or ―Even if I‘m nervous. Often. or social phobia. children with social phobia don‘t want to go to school.‖ ―I won‘t have anything to say. .‖ ―My voice will start shaking and I‘ll humiliate myself.‖   ―People will think I‘m stupid. butterflies) Trembling or shaking (including shaky voice) Racing heart or tightness in chest Sweating or hot flashes Feeling dizzy or faint Behavioral symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia     Avoiding social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life Staying quiet or hiding in the background in order to escape notice and embarrassment A need to always bring a buddy along with you wherever you go Drinking before social situations in order to soothe your nerves Social anxiety disorder / social phobia in children There‘s nothing abnormal about a child being shy.e. Everyone will think I‘m completely incompetent. the underlying negative thought might be: ―I‘m going to blow it. either through therapy or on your own. speaking to adults. is one effective way to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. The first step is to identify the automatic negative thoughts that underlie your fear of social situations.‖ The next step is to analyze and challenge them. For example. Social anxiety disorder treatment #1: Challenge negative thoughts Social anxiety sufferers have negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. or blushing Shortness of breath Upset stomach. taking tests.‖ Challenging these negative thoughts. if you‗re worried about an upcoming work presentation. I'll seem boring. reading in class. If you have social anxiety disorder. nausea (i. will people necessarily think I‘m incompetent?‖ Through this logical evaluation of your negative thoughts . or performing in front of others.

 Fortune telling – Predicting the future. and that they see you in the same negative way that you see yourself. .‖  Personalizing – Assuming that people are focusing on you in a negative way or that what‘s going on with other people has to do with you.  Catastrophizing – Blowing things out of proportion. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. and muscle tension. Overbreathing throws off the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body—leading to more physical symptoms of anxiety. How can I stop thinking that everyone is looking at me? In order to reduce self-focus. You just ―know‖ that things will go horribly. other people will contribute. it will be ―awful. rather than monitoring yourself or focusing on symptoms of anxiety in your body:    Look at other people and the surroundings. Unhelpful thinking styles involved in social phobia In particular. ask yourself if you‘re engaging in any of the following unhelpful thinking styles:  Mind reading – Assuming you know what other people are thinking. usually while assuming the worst will happen. Learning to slow your breathing down can help you bring your physical symptoms of anxiety back under control.  Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for four seconds. The hand on your stomach should rise. so you‘re already anxious before you‘re even in the situation. Really listen to what is being said (not to your own negative thoughts).‖ or ―disastrous.‖ ―terrible. a feeling of suffocation. Adapted from: Moodjuice Social anxiety disorder treatment #2: Learn to control your breath Many changes happen in your body when you become anxious. such as dizziness. Don't take all the responsibility for keeping conversations going—silence is okay. A breathing exercise to help you keep your calm in social situations  Sit comfortably with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. pay attention to what is happening around you. If people notice that you‘re nervous. while the hand on your chest should move very little. increased heart rate. One of the first changes is that you begin to breathe quickly.you can gradually replace them with more realistic and positive ways of looking at social situations that trigger your anxiety. Practicing the following breathing exercise will help you stay calm when you‘re the center of attention.

the more frightening it becomes. Social anxiety disorder treatment #3: Face your fears One of the most helpful things you can do to overcome social anxiety disorder. it prevents you from becoming more comfortable in social situations and learning how to cope. if socializing with strangers makes you anxious. but your other hand should move very little.‖ For example. Exhale slowly through your mouth for six seconds. Avoidance may also prevent you from doing things you‘d like to do or reaching certain goals. and 6-out. the more you avoid a feared social situation. or making new friends. In fact. Focus on keeping a slow and steady breathing pattern of 4-in. For example. For step-by-step advice on getting started. Avoidance keeps social anxiety disorder going. see Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Finding the Relaxation Exercises that Work for You. Working your way up the social phobia “anxiety ladder” . The key is to start with a situation that you can handle and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations.  Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Avoidance leads to more problems While avoiding nerve-wracking situations may help you feel better in the short term. or social phobia. you can do it by taking it one small step at a time. is to face the social situations you fear rather than avoid them. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale. Challenging social anxiety one step at a time While it may seem impossible to overcome a feared social situation.  Hold the breath for two seconds. a fear of speaking up may prevent you from sharing your ideas at work. yoga. and so on. regular practice of relaxation techniques such as meditation. Relaxation techniques for anxiety relief In addition to deep breathing exercises. you might try introducing yourself to one new person. standing out in the classroom. you might start by accompanying an outgoing friend to a party. building your confidence and coping skills as you move up the ―anxiety ladder. Once you‘re comfortable with that step. pushing out as much air as you can. and progressive muscle relaxation will also help you get control over the physical symptoms of anxiety. 2-hold.

 Work on your communication skills. or stuffing envelopes for a campaign — anything that will give you an activity to focus on while you are also engaging with a small number of like-minded people. When you‘re sleep deprived. not lower.  Use the skills you’ve learned to stay calm. levels of anxiety.  Quit smoking. When self-help for social anxiety / social phobia isn’t enough The best treatment approach for social anxiety disorder varies from person to person. It‘s never a good idea to move too fast. Social anxiety disorder treatment #4: Build better relationships Actively seeking out and joining supportive social environments is another effective way of tackling and overcoming social anxiety disorder or social phobia. The following lifestyle tips will help you reduce your overall anxiety levels and set the stage for successful treatment:  Avoid or limit caffeine. Smoking leads to higher. such as focusing on your breathing and challenging negative assumptions. such as walking dogs in a shelter.  Be patient. The following suggestions are good ways to start interacting with others in positive ways:  Take a social skills class or an assertiveness training class. tea. or force things. You may be tempted to drink before a party or other social situation in order to calm your nerves.  Get adequate sleep. If you find that you have trouble connecting to others. energy drinks. These classes are often offered at local adult education centers or community colleges. You may find that self-help strategies are enough to ease your social anxiety symptoms. Social anxiety disorder treatment #5: Change your lifestyle While lifestyle changes alone aren‘t enough to overcome social phobia or social anxiety disorder. Coffee. Overcoming social anxiety takes time and practice. But if you‘ve tried the . Being well rested will help you stay calm in social situations. Good relationships depend on clear. but alcohol increases your risk of having an anxiety attack. Don’t try to face your biggest fear right away. learning the basic skills of emotional intelligence can help. you‘re more vulnerable to anxiety. This will backfire and reinforce your anxiety.  Drink only in moderation. they can support your overall treatment progress. take on too much. and chocolate act as stimulants that increase anxiety symptoms. caffeinated soda. Nicotine is a powerful stimulant. emotionallyintelligent communication.  Volunteer doing something you enjoy. It‘s a gradual step-by-step progress.

and rapid heartbeat. mock interviews. and other exercises to work on situations that make you anxious in the real world. your symptoms will probably return full force.  Facing the social situations you fear in a gradual. Group therapy for social anxiety disorder uses acting.techniques above and you‘re still struggling with disabling anxiety. and your feelings affect your behavior. cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to work the best for treating social anxiety disorder. While beta blockers don‘t affect the emotional symptoms of anxiety. systematic way. Three types of medication are used in the treatment of social anxiety disorder / social phobia:  Beta blockers – Beta blockers are used for relieving performance anxiety. replacing them with more balanced views. rather than avoiding them. They work by blocking the flow of adrenaline that occurs when you‘re anxious. Medication for social anxiety disorder / social phobia Medication is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of social anxiety. Therapy for social anxiety disorder / social phobia Of all the professional treatments available. videotaping and observing. As you practice and prepare for situations you‘re afraid of. you‘ll feel and function better. or social phobia. If you stop taking medication. and your anxiety will lessen.  Challenging negative. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the premise that what you think affects how you feel. if you‘ve had trouble with self -help. So if you change the way you think about social situations that give you anxiety. you may need professional help as well. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia typically involves:  Learning how to control the physical symptoms of anxiety through relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. unhelpful thoughts that trigger and fuel social anxiety. Medication is considered most helpful when used in addition to therapy and other self-help techniques that address the root cause of social anxiety disorder. but it‘s not a cure for social anxiety disorder or social phobia. they can control physical symptoms such as shaking hands or voice. While you can learn and practice these exercises on your own. often as part of a therapy group. . Group therapy for social anxiety disorder / social phobia Other cognitive-behavioral techniques for social anxiety disorder include role-playing and social skills training. sweating. you will become more and more comfortable and confident in your social abilities. you may benefit from the extra support and guidance a therapist brings.

Symptoms may be so extreme that they disrupt daily life. Three specific antidepressants—Paxil. About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder Typical age of onset: 13 years old 36 percent of people with social anxiety disorder report symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help Although they recognize that the fear is excessive and unreasonable. they are sedating and addictive. so they are typically prescribed only when other medications for social phobia have not worked.S. The anxiety can interfere significantly with daily routines. making it difficult to complete school.  Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications. and have friendships and romantic relationships.    . Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of social phobia. Effexor. or even ashamed. also called social phobia. may have few or no social or romantic relationships. occupational performance. Social anxiety disorder usually begins in childhood or adolescence. They are terrified they will humiliate or embarrass themselves. Social Anxiety Disorder It’s the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations: Social anxiety disorder can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from it. However. Antidepres sants – Antidepressants can be helpful when social anxiety disorder is severe and debilitating. making them feel powerless. and children are prone to clinging behavior. interview and get a job. and Zoloft—have been approved by the U. tantrums. alone. or social life. and even autism. This disorder is not simply shyness that has been inappropriately medicalized: Read about the difference. People with this disorder. people with social anxiety disorder feel powerless against their anxiety.