Social anxiety can occur because of many reasons. Sometimes the fear of being judged induces anxiety in the person. Due to this restlessness and anxiety pumping in the body, we feel apprehensive and tend to avoid people as much as we can. Social fear can be treated in many ways, ranging from medications to therapies. Social anxiety may produce a lot of negative thoughts for people due to which they might get stuck in a loop of negative evaluation, which impacts their self-esteem.
There could be many causes or reasons for social anxiety to develop, it could be that the person is of an apprehensive temperament, or it could be because the person is genuinely afraid of something. Something might have happened which could be making the person afraid of individuals. Such individuals have over-exaggerated responses to fear and get over hyper to stimuli. They are also hypersensitive to perceived stress. Thus, they may easily develop mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
Guilt can also cause people to stay away from others. They might think they do not deserve to be in the company of others or think that others will punish or dislike them. Apart from this people who have autism find it difficult to interact with others and they have an overaction information collection system which brings an overload to sensory stimuli. Many people with autism mask their symptoms so they can adjust to the social behaviours of others. Some common signs or symptoms of someone facing social fear include:-
People who have some kind of social anxiety feel very alert to their behaviour. They constantly judge themselves as well as self-analyze critical behaviour. This puts them under scrutiny and puts a lot of burden on their mental health.
Avoidance of social situations
People who have social fear also avoid many social situations as they feel much more comfortable in such a manner. In this manner, they become isolated and tend to live a much longer life.
People with anxiety feel many of the physical symptoms to fear such as a faster heartbeat, sweating and trembling with fear.
Fear of being the centre of attention
People with social fear never like to be at the centre of attention, they always try to hide away and not gather many eyes on them.
People with social fear tend to get addicted to substances which try to waive some of the fear or anxiety symptoms they might be experiencing.
The treatment for someone experiencing social fear is as follows: –
Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
Changing the negative thoughts that we get is beneficial in dealing with the anxiety of experiences. As one changes their thoughts, their feelings towards others and themselves also change and in a way, they have a much more positive outlook towards life.
Interpersonal group therapy helps these individuals gain confidence and build rapport with other people in the realm of group psychotherapy. It helps them challenge themselves with their fear and become more complacent in tackling their conflicts.
Understanding unconscious motives and conflicts helps one gain control over themselves and handle their fear much more efficiently. They gain insight into their behaviours and can channel themselves to positive thoughts.
Medicines like Ssris help one alleviate their symptoms. Their neurotransmitter gets balanced and the mood is also more stable than before.
Social Skills Training:
Learning and practising social skills can be beneficial for individuals with social anxiety. This therapy helps improve communication and assertiveness, making it easier to navigate social situations. People with social anxiety often tend to avoid situations involving a lot of social interactions since they lack social skills that could not have been developed due to anxiety.
People undergoing any kind of social fear, need to work on their feelings. They need to understand what makes them get on the edge when they are with people. When they find out the reason that is keeping them behind to feel free with people, they work on addressing that feeling and resolving it further, so it does not cause any more conflicts in the way they want to live.
Social fear puts away people and does not give them the space to be themselves. And as people go from one social situation to another the impact of the perceived threat increases and they start to feel larger fear. Some people have a nervous breakdown or a panic attack during this phase. Thus, medication and working on yourself is extremely important in dealing with social fear and once people conquer it, they can work towards building their self-image or identity in a more fruitful manner.