Thursday, September 30, 2010

Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

Hi Everyone, How are ya, I wanted to share this form of Anxiety Disorder with all of you. This was part of my Anxiety Disorder too. I can remember when it first came on how difficult it could be just to sit through a dinner with friends or family. Silly as it may sound to some people who have never experienced any form of Anxiety, it is real and it can be difficult to live with. Maybe once in a very blue moon I may feel this again in a social situation, but thanks to my medicine I pretty much never feel this way and it is such a welcomed relief. If you or someone you notice may be experiencing this as well, know it is very treatable and you can get back into the social part of your life without the suffering. I personally recommend some form of meditation too be it a full meditation or just taking a little time each day or before a social situation to just find a quiet place, listen to music or do what works for you to calm your mind. I also find that since I have been walking just about everyday the thought of even becoming anxious in a social situation is non existent!!, simply put, walking does the mind and body good in so many ways :)
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Love ya,
Janet :)

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Anonymous Person On NAMI says,
“In any social situation, I felt fear. I would be anxious before I even left the house, and it would escalate as I got closer to a college class, a party, or whatever. I would feel sick in my stomach-it almost felt like I had the flu. My heart would pound, my palms would get sweaty, and I would get this feeling of being removed from myself and from everybody else.”

“When I would walk into a room full of people, I’d turn red and it would feel like everybody’s eyes were on me. I was embarrassed to stand off in a corner by myself, but I couldn’t think of anything to say to anybody. It was humiliating. I felt so clumsy, I couldn’t wait to get out.”

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have an intense, persistent, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of doing things that will embarrass them. They can worry for days or weeks before a dreaded situation. This fear may become so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other ordinary activities, and can make it hard to make and keep friends.

While many people with social phobia realize that their fears about being with people are excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome them. Even if they manage to confront their fears and be around others, they are usually very anxious beforehand, are intensely uncomfortable throughout the encounter, and worry about how they were judged for hours afterward.

Social phobia can be limited to one situation (such as talking to people, eating or drinking, or writing on a blackboard in front of others) or may be so broad (such as in generalized social phobia) that the person experiences anxiety around almost anyone other than the family.

Physical symptoms that often accompany social phobia include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. When these symptoms occur, people with social phobia feel as though all eyes are focused on them.

Social phobia affects about 15 million American adults. Women and men are equally likely to develop the disorder, which usually begins in childhood or early adolescence. There is some evidence that genetic factors are involved. Social phobia is often accompanied by other anxiety disorders or depression,and substance abuse may develop if people try to self-medicate their anxiety.

How to Get Help for Anxiety Disorders

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, the first person you should see is your family doctor. A physician can determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to an anxiety disorder, another medical condition, or both.

If an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, the next step is usually seeing a mental health professional. The practitioners who are most helpful with anxiety disorders are those who have training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy, and who are open to using medication if it is needed.

You should feel comfortable talking with the mental health professional you choose. If you do not, you should seek help elsewhere. Once you find a mental health professional with whom you are comfortable, the two of you should work as a team and make a plan to treat your anxiety disorder together.

Remember that once you start on medication, it is important not to stop taking it abruptly. Certain drugs must be tapered off under the supervision of a doctor or bad reactions can occur. Make sure you talk to the doctor who prescribed your medication before you stop taking it. If you are having trouble with side effects, it’s possible that they can be eliminated by adjusting how much medication you take and when you take it.

Most insurance plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), will cover treatment for anxiety disorders. Check with your insurance company and find out. If you don’t have insurance, the Health and Human Services division of your county government may offer mental health care at a public mental health center that charges people according to how much they are able to pay. If you are on public assistance, you may be able to get care through your state Medicaid plan.

Ways to Make Treatment More Effective

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Internet chat rooms can also be useful in this regard, but any advice received over the Internet should be used with caution, as Internet acquaintances have usually never seen each other and false identities are common. Talking with a trusted friend or member of the clergy can also provide support, but it is not a substitute for care from a mental health professional.

Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medications.

The family is very important in the recovery of a person with an anxiety disorder. Ideally, the family should be supportive but not help perpetuate their loved one’s symptoms. Family members should not trivialize the disorder or demand improvement without treatment. If your family is doing either of these things, you may want to show them this booklet so they can become educated allies and help you succeed in therapy.

5 comments:

  1. Interesting post you have here. Social phobia is not easy to overcome. But you can learn from www.whatcausespanicattacks.comabout simple prevention methods. Can be pretty handy.

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  2. Hi Janet Just wanted to say Hello.I love the pictures you have on your blogs. They are magical.

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  3. Hi Anonymous, thank you for sharing this link with me, I will be checking it out and sharing some of it's methods. Finding different tools to help fight Anxiety is always a welcomed relief. Thank you for taking the time to comment,
    Take Care,
    Janet :)

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  4. Hi Russ, you are the sweetest, your comments always make my day. I try to find pictures that express the depths of the human soul :)
    Thank you so much ,
    Janet :)

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  5. This is a wonderful post! I especially agree with you about family being a major factor in successful treatment. I have social phobia and I know that my husband and children have been helpful in dealing with it. I also have received a lot of help from http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-pho. If you are suffering from social phobia, I recommend checking it out.

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