Most people wonder: “What is a social anxiety disorder?” And if they have a bit of an idea, most people have no idea what the difference is between a disorder and “normal” social anxiety.
To make a clear distinction between the two, I’ll give you some examples of them and how they are different from each other.
After that, we’ll look into the possible causes, and finally I have a list for you with all the physical symptoms and behaviors of the socially phobic person.
The Same Yet Different…
Social anxiety disorder and social anxiety are the same, but also a bit different.
Someone who suffers from a generalized social phobia has an
intense and ever present fear of being judged negatively by others.
They are very self conscious, feel like everyone is observing them and they are extremely concerned about how they are perceived.
They can never just completely let go, relax and fully enjoy social situations. They desperately want to make a good impression, but don’t feel capable of doing so.
Because of this, they intensely fear making a bad impression (which they feel they do constantly) and after a social encounter the social phobic ruminates over what went wrong for ages.
The person avoids social situations and when they’re in one, they experience a constant fear of becoming embarrassed, ashamed or humiliated…
…And they are very afraid of being judged for that. And if they feel that is the case, the anxiety increases even more and it can even lead into a panic attack (if they cannot escape the situation).
Social Anxiety vs Social Phobia
“Then what is social anxiety?”
Well, social anxiety is what almost all people have a little. It’s some form of shyness in certain social situations.
Examples would be being a bit reserved when meeting someone new, or getting anxious when having to speak in front of a group of people.
Some people experience more social anxiety than others, based on their values and beliefs.
But these feelings are very common, and the majority of the population is able to just deal with these feelings that occur in some parts of their lives. They know that everyone has them and they are able to just push through the fear.
However, when you have normal social anxiety in some situations, but you experience the really intense phobic feelings in other specific social situations, you might be diagnosed with a specific social phobia.
Someone who gets diagnosed with generalized social phobia on the other hand experiences the social anxiety feelings exaggerated manifold. In almost all social situations.
Here, the social anxiety feelings are so intense that they keep the sufferer from leading a normal life. They avoid social situations at any cost and most of them live isolated, lonely lives.
If you always feel extremely uncomfortable and constantly feel the fear of being judged negatively (even though you rationally know this isn’t true), you will do anything to avoid social situations.
Your friends don‘t understand you and think you‘re being a wimp as they feel only a tidbit of social anxiety and they decide to go for it and face their fears. They just don‘t understand that you are having such a high level of anxiety and fear over what might happen.
And you in turn think that you will only be feeling extremely anxious going to that social event, and that you will make a fool out of yourself anyway.
So why bother and go true the pain? You will rather stay at home…
Where Does A Social Anxiety Disorder Come From?
Where social anxiety disorder exactly comes from is not 100% scientifically proven yet. It is still being researched to this day.
They found several contributors to the development of social phobia, but there isn’t certainty of only one being the sole cause.
Here are the facts from the studies (in no particular order):
You are more prone to developing a social phobia when…
- You had negative social experiences growing up If you were bullied, didn’t fit with your peers, was once popular and then lost it, got rejected, ignored or any other negative social experience you had that had a big impact on you emotionally, then these can be major triggers to a social phobia.Even hearing about or observing socially negative experiences of others can contribute. Verbal warnings of social problems and dangers might also be contributors.
- You grew up having a lack of personal relationships So when you grew up in an isolated area for example, or in an area where there wasn’t much possibility to socialize. Also, when there have been long periods of avoidance of social situations, you are more likely to develop it.
- You grew up in a competitive culture where there are a lot of power imbalances Think of comparing yourself to society standards of having to look like a model and be “perfect”. You then feel that you don’t live up to the expectations.
- One or both of your parents suffered from it Either through the genes you inherited or by the phobic behavior your parent(s) displayed.
- Your parents used shame as punishment in disciplining you
- Your parents taught you to highly value the opinions of others
Speaking from the perspective of an ex social anxiety disorder sufferer, having been a social phobia coach guiding people all the way to social confidence for 3 years now (it’s Jan 2012 now), I can tell you that it completely comes from your negative limiting beliefs. And that you can change these using a variety of approaches, one being far more efficient that others…
And that even if you were to have a genetic predisposition, you can still become calm and at ease in social situations.
Check out there HOW TO permanently overcome your social anxiety disorder and feel at your best when interacting with others:
The Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder:
It is estimated that between 3 and 13% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety disorder. There are people that only have some of the symptoms described below, and there are also sufferers that have all symptoms.
The physical symptoms/sensations are:
- Dry mouth
- Mind going blank
- Shortness of breath
- A feeling of fatigue
- Fast heartbeat
- Stomach ache
- Muscular tension
- Walk disturbance (where you are so worried about how you walk that you loose balance)
- Excessive sweating
- Panic attacks
Now finally let’s look at a list of the possible behavioral traits of someone that suffers from a social phobia…
People That Suffer From Social Phobia:
- Are overly self-conscious
- Fear being judged negatively by others (even friends, sometimes especially friends)
- Have an intense fear of rejection
- Fear being made fun of
- Have an intense fear of becoming embarrassed/ashamed and blushing as a result of this
- Fear what others think of them constantly
- Fear conflict
- Fear being the center of attention
- Are worried that other people might think they are anxious, weak, silly or weird.
- Put themselves down very often
- Fear speaking in front of or with people with authority
- Have an intense fear introducing themselves and of meeting new people
- Are often very lonely
- Are perfectionist and beat themselves up for ages because they are not able to live up to that expectation
- Dread making a phone call or answering the phone
- Fear interviews for a job
- Fear eating in public
- Have performance anxiety (public speaking, stage fright etc.)
- Can’t use public bathrooms or gasp in public
- Are sometimes addicted to drugs/alcohol. Use alcohol and drugs to soothe the anxiety temporarily
- Have severe anticipatory anxiety. They go into negative thought loops about possible social disasters (intense negative thought loops)
- Have feelings of inferiority/superiority to people that they perceive to be “better” than them
- Sometimes suffer from insomnia
- Sometimes even have suicidal thoughts
People that suffer from social anxiety disorder are in desperate need for help. They often don’t know how to help themselves and are most of the time too anxious to get help.
If you are suffering from social anxiety disorder then bookmark this site and read and apply as much as you can. If possible get help. Do whatever you can to book progress because a social phobia is absolutely curable.
Don’t give up, there is a way out of this!
If you want to completely overcome your social anxiety fast, getting coaching from the comfort of your own home and the ease of sitting behind your PC, my coaching packages might be the answer for you.
When you fully commit, I guarantee success (I offer money back guarantee) because I know that social anxiety is a skill that is learned and I have the experience to guide you to letting go of it completely, and feeling calm and at ease in social settings.
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- Take the social anxiety test
- Use these stategies to develop a never give up attitude
- Change your brain to solve your social anxiety
- Irrational beliefs are the main cause of your negative emotions
- Use the power of belief to your advantage
- Relate to severe social anxiety
- You experienced social anxiety attack?
- social anxiety disorder symptoms do you experience?
- Social anxiety medication to cure your social anxiety?
- Social anxiety or depression?
- Logical social anxiety self help strategies
- The social anxiety syndrome secret
- Social anxiety test
- Social anxiety support group… Why?
- My positive social anxiety story
- Which social anxiety treatment is the most effective?
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