Social anxiety: check out 3 signs that may indicate the disorder
Have you ever missed an opportunity for fear of exposing yourself, being judged or evaluated? Many people attribute this to shyness, but the behavior could be rooted in something called social anxiety or social phobia. While shyness is a personality trait, social anxiety is a disorder, which can cause limitations in personal and professional life.
THE World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 13% of Brazilians suffer from social anxiety, which is equivalent to 26 million people. The condition is characterized by intense psychic suffering, as it includes self-sabotage, low self-esteem and social isolation. Perceiving the symptoms related to the problem is essential to receive the appropriate treatment, reduce and alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Here are three of the main signs of social anxiety:
1. Fear of expressing yourself
A person with social anxiety has a hard time expressing themselves. One of the reasons for this is insecurity. The individual does not recognize his own qualities and focuses only on defects. Such a situation leads him to think ten times before speaking and, when he does, it is common for failures to occur regarding the clarity of ideas and even the continuity of the conversation.
Social anxiety also causes the individual to restrict socializing with others. Isolation is one of the tricks to avoid anxiety situations.
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Anxiety is a kind of psychic condition characterized by constant and excessive worry that something negative might happen. According to researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), it is also a diffuse feeling of discomfort carried by a frequent feeling of apprehension that can trigger disordersPeter Dazeley/Getty Images
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil is the most anxious country in the world, and has recorded even more cases of the condition during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to adults, anxiety can also manifest in children for various reasons, such as parents’ divorce, tests or problems at school, for example.Elva Etienne/ Getty Images
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Despite being considered relatively common, since it can affect anyone for any reason, anxiety becomes a real problem when everything becomes a cause for exaggerated concern and the patient starts to have crises.Tara Moore/Getty Images
An anxiety crisis is a situation that causes a great feeling of anguish, nervousness and insecurity, as if something very bad, and that is completely out of control, was going to happen at any moment. Getty Images
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The crisis usually arises due to specific stressful situations that generate triggers, such as having to make a presentation, having a short deadline to deliver a work, being somewhere you wouldn’t want to or having suffered a loss, for example.Tara Moore/Getty Images
Among the symptoms of an anxiety attack are: rapid heartbeat, feeling of shortness of breath, tingling in the body, feeling of lightness in the head, chest pain, nausea, excessive sweating, tremors, among others.Holly Wilmeth/Getty Images
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These symptoms occur due to the increase in the adrenaline hormone in the bloodstream, something normal when a person faces an important moment. However, if symptoms become constant, they may signal a generalized anxiety disorder.Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
What to do during an anxiety attack depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms, so it is always best to get specialist advice from a psychiatrist or psychologist. MICROGEN IMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
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Despite this, performing breathing exercises, drinking soothing tea, trying to talk to someone you trust, resting, turning off your mind, doing physical activities that you enjoy or trying to keep your mind on something that gives comfort are some tips that can help alleviate the problem.Jamie Grill/Getty Images
When the anxiety crisis happens for the first time, or you are not sure what is happening, it is important to go to a hospital to ensure that it is not another more serious problem, such as a heart attack.Science Photo Library/Getty Images
Anxiety can trigger problems that, depending on the symptoms, can be classified as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, panic syndrome, among others. These problems can impact the patient’s personal and professional life, so the sooner they are diagnosed, the fewer problems they will face.kupicoo/ Getty Images
2. Difficulties with the boss
If dealing with co-workers is physically difficult for people with social anxiety, relating to bosses and leaders is even more challenging. A simple meeting makes the heart beat faster and sweat take over the body.
One of the explanations for this, according to the psychologist from the University of São Paulo (USP), Monica Machado, is that the individual with social phobia feels inferior in the face of leadership. “He sees in the director, for example, an inaccessible being, much bigger and better. He believes that if he says anything, he will be evaluated negatively”, explains the doctor.
3. Crisis in the love relationship
According to Monica, the socially anxious individual encounters many obstacles when it comes to talking to someone they are attracted to. The person with social phobia can create situations of self-sabotage to push the partner away. It is also normal to be self-deprecating, for the same reason.
All of the situations mentioned can be alleviated and treated through the follow-up of a psychologist or psychiatrist. Among the treatments used are psychotherapy, meditation, yoga and, in more severe cases, antidepressant or anxiolytic medication.
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