How to Stop OCD Thoughts
Social Anxiety Disorder involves overwhelming anxiety and excessive self consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social anxiety have a persistent, intense and sometimes chronic fear of being watched and/or judged by other people and being embarased and/or humiliated by their actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school and other everyday activities. Many people with social anxiety disorder are worried by writing or eating in front of others and have constant ongoing fear of public identification or anything that draws attention to them such as making speeches or reading out loud.
Whilst many people with anxiety recognize that their fear of being around people may be excessive and unreasonable, they are unable to minimze or overcome it. They often worries for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation or event and therefore prepare themselves for, what they believe to be, inevitable anxiety. Social anxiety disorder can be can be limited to only one situation – such as fear of speaking in a formal or informal situations, or eating, drinking or writing in front of others, or in its most severe form may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people. Social anxiety disorder can be very debilitating – it may even keep people from going to work or school on some days.
Many people with social anxiety have a hard time making and keeping friends.
How common is Social Anxiety Disorder? Very common indeed! In fact, it is our experience that most anxiety and panic sufferers show signs of social anxiety disorder too. Social anxiety disorder is more common in young people as they mature and enter adult life. There is also a strong correlation between social anxiety and agoraphobia and sufferers find that the action of avoiding social situations creates an agoraphobic reaction to those locations.
Who does Social Anxiety Disorder affect?
Social anxiety disorder can affect anyone of any age or sex. It is estimated that around seven million Americans have social anxiety disorder and this number is echoed around the world. What causes Social Anxiety Disorder? The amygdala (the anxiety control center in the brain), is responsible for the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. When the amygdala becomes re-set to a higher ‘baseline’ level than previously, inappropriate, anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder become apparent. This process of learning is called operant conditioning. Social anxiety disorder develops as a result of high anxiety and the amygdala producing ‘what if’ thoughts as described earlier. These ‘what if’ risk assessing thoughts analyze the sufferer’s environment and detect threat in the form of the people and situations around them which then causes more anxiety and so on.
What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety symptoms can be intense; they include panic attacks and phobias, agoraphobia and all of the physical and psychological thoughts and sensations associated with anxiety.
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