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Feel anxious when meeting new people? Here’s how you can overcome it

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We may have noticed that whenever we go out in public, especially meeting new people, we’re a bit nervous at first as to who we’ll be meeting. However, some people get excited when they’re going out into situations because they will be getting a chance to know new people and make more connections. These types of people are called ‘social butterflies’, whereas the former type that gets anxious is known to be having ‘social anxiety’ or ‘social phobia’. It is a real disorder that many people suffer from. From a racing heartbeat to cold sweating, you go through it all. Worried about how to manage your anxiety when going out in public? Don’t worry, you can choose from a variety of mental health treatments at buydiazepamuk.

What is social anxiety disorder?

Simply put, social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a disorder that causes feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and fear in social settings. People with this disorder face problems when it comes to talking with people, meeting new people, and attending social events. They feel physical and mental discomfort when they put themselves out there. Mentally they may feel anxious, nervous, scared, fearful, overwhelmed, etc., and physically they may feel that their heart is pounding, their chest is closing up, they are profusely sweating on their palms, and inability to hold conversations.

We may confuse social anxiety with shyness, which is feeling timid at school, work, or in social settings. In contrast, social anxiety is much more intense and may disrupt normal life functioning. It can lead individuals to shut themselves down, eventually leading to antisocial personality disorder.

Here are some symptoms of social anxiety disorder:

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Physical symptoms:

  • Feeling of nausea
  • Blushing
  • Cold sweats
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Zoning out
  • Mind going blank
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate

Psychological symptoms:

  • A feeling of constant worry leading up to the social event
  • Deliberately avoiding social events
  • Overly self-consciousness
  • Excessive self-scrutiny
  • Fear of screwing up
  • Worrying that your face shows that you are stressed out
  • Feeling a need to drink before going to the social event
  • Missing out on the event because of anxiety

As social anxiety is a disorder that can disrupt normal daily life functioning, it can have a jarring impact on the person. People with social anxiety disorder avoid asking questions, dreading interviews, shopping in crowded places, using public restrooms, talking on the phone, and eating in public. However, every person with this disorder may have a different response to different situations. They may have selective anxiety. For example, they may be anxious about having 1-on-1 meetings but may be okay with talking on the phone.

People with severe social anxiety may avoid social settings at all costs.

Causes of social anxiety disorder

According to the research, a social anxiety disorder may result from physical, genetic, and biological factors. There may be imbalances in the brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate, which result in shifts in mood.

Some factors that may contribute are

  • Traumatic experiences in the past
  • Negative interaction with surrounding people
  • Abusive parenting styles
  • Insecure attachment style
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How can we diagnose social anxiety disorder?

If you want to confirm whether you have a social anxiety disorder, you should go to a doctor to run the diagnostics. You will likely be asked about your family history, symptoms, and other health conditions.

They may conclude your diagnosis based on ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5).

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Treatment for social anxiety disorder

There are several treatments available for this disorder. There may be just one treatment needed or a combination of a few; it totally depends upon what works for you and how well you respond to it. A primary care doctor may refer you to a psychologist or mental health specialist when it comes to getting therapy for social anxiety.

Some of the treatments are:

Counselling

It can be one-on-one or in groups, in-person or online.

CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy

This type of therapy makes you learn how to manage your anxiety and your emotions.

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ACT or acceptance or commitment therapy

This type of therapy teaches you how to be mindful and accepting. In addition, you learn strategies to live a value-based life.

Support groups

In this type, you are inclusively given therapy with other people to boost your social skills and interaction with people in social settings. This will enable you to overcome your fear of social situations.

Exposure therapy

In this therapy, your therapist will slowly help you face the situations you dread, enabling you to overcome that fear and let it slowly go away.

Some medications are available to deal with fear and anxiety. It is strictly advised to take medicines according to the prescription of your healthcare professional. It may become life-threatening if you overdose. Therefore always consult a healthcare provider before starting a medication.

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