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Social Anxiety Disorder And Other Stress and Anxiety Phobias

Social Anxiety disorder is just one of the phobias which are associated with stress and anxiety.

A phobia is a fear of things, places, situations etc which is blown out of all proportion to any actual threat associated with these things.

A phobia can be so bad that the sufferer will go to any lengths to avoid the cause of their fear and although this may not matter much if say the phobia is a fear of spiders.

It can be a problem if your phobia is the fear of flying and affects your work.

If you suffer from phobias, don’t feel alone, it is estimated that one in every four women and one in every six men are affected by some form of phobia.

Social anxiety disorder is quite common and can be very disruptive to someone’s daily life.

The emotional symptoms may include:

  • Fearful of being judged by others
  • Believe that people are looking at them (paranoia)
  • Extremely self conscious

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Stuttering when trying to talk to someone.

Social anxiety disorder can be a generalized phobia of everyday social contact or it may be more specific, as in giving talks, going to parties etc.

Often sufferers will worry for weeks in advance if they know they are going to have to be in a social situation such as a party. They will worry the whole time during the party and then worry afterwards about what other people thought of them.

In some cases where the phobia is based around fear of talking in front of groups of people it can seriously affect their ability to work if this is required of them on a regular basis. This is where the phobia is taking control of the person’s life and needs to be tackled sooner rather than later.

What Causes A Phobia?

Phobias are associated with anxiety in that they often begin in the first instance due to stress and anxiety about a certain situation or thing.

This anxiety may escalate into a panic attack, which in turn makes you afraid of the cause so much that you do everything you can to avoid it happening again. Thus a phobia is born.

Common phobias:

  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Heights
  • Needles
  • Flying
  • Crowded places
  • Small places
  • Social contact

Conquering Your Phobia

Simple phobias can be treated with behavioural therapy; this is where the sufferer is desensitized to the thing or situation which frightened them. This can be very stressful to begin with but the fear will gradually disappear overtime.

More ingrained treatment would involve working with a psychotherapist specializing in phobias.

Tips to help yourself overcome social anxiety disorders and phobias

  • Try to discover where the fear came from; did something happen to you as a child?
  • Write down all the worst things that could happen to you, then go back through the list and try and find ways in which you could overcome each of them in a calm manner.
  • Learning breathing exercises to get you through the feelings of panic.
  • Spend time everyday visualizing yourself in your phobic situation and coping with it.
  • Don’t keep your feelings to yourself. Talking to others especially those with a similar problem is helpful.
  • Develop positive thinking skills rather than automatic negative ones.

› Social Anxiety Disorder