Social Anxiety – The Hidden Disorder

Social anxiety is one of several types of anxiety disorders. WebMD lists the following anxiety and panic disorders. Panic disorder strikes suddenly and repeatedly with no warning and often includes physical symptoms such as sweating and chest pain; and specific phobias such as fear of heights, snakes, flying and others. Generalized anxiety disorder presents excessive, unrealistic worry and tension even when there is little or nothing to trigger the anxiety. Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) manifests overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. Worries center on fear of being judged and/or fear of behaving in a way that might cause ridicule or embarrassment.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults (18%) in a given year causing them to be filled with fear and uncertainty. Anxiety disorders lasting 6 months or more can get worse without treatment. Often anxiety disorders occur with other mental/physical illnesses such as alcohol or substance abuse. Among the related anxiety disorders discussed in a National Institute of Mental Health 26- page booklet “Anxiety Disorders” are panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia (social anxiety disorder) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

According to “Social Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia” social anxiety triggers include meeting new people, being the center of attention, being watched doing something, making small talk, public speaking, performing on stage, being teased or criticized, talking with important people, being called on in class, going on a date, making a phone call, using public restrooms, taking tests, eating or drinking in public, speaking at a meeting and attending parties. Social anxiety is triggered when you become an object to others and therefore lose control of your selfhood to others. Emotional symptoms include excessive self-consciousness and anxiety, intense worry, extreme fear, and general nervousness. Physical symptoms include red face, shortness of breath, upset stomach, nausea, trembling, racing heart, tightness of chest, sweating, hot flashes, feeling faint and dizziness.

Are you experiencing any symptoms of social anxiety disorder? Are these symptoms holding you back? Are you living in the Miami area? Professional counseling offers treatment for your negative thoughts. With the therapist beside you, you can confront those overwhelming debilitating thoughts. Dr. Elsa Orlandini offers the greater Miami area professional counseling in two locations: South Beach on Lincoln Road and in the Brickell Avenue Business Center in Miami. Don’t suffer in silence. Confront your anxiety disorder with Dr. Orlandini by your side. Take charge of you life.

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