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A Closer Look At Social Anxiety Disorderfrom: Conquer Anxiety and Depression
Social anxiety disorder is a mental illness that impacts the lives of millions of people and those close to them. Often putting the breaks on a person's ability to enjoy life to its fullest, this disorder can manifest itself in a number of different ways.
Social anxiety disorder is typically characterized as a strong fear of scrutiny in public situations. In some cases, people will actually feel very real, very overpowering physical symptoms that accompany attacks of fear. For example, a person with social anxiety disorder might have a problem eating in public. He or she might be so afraid of looking bad, slovenly or sloppy that a sensation of choking presents while trying to eat.
The actual manifestation of social anxiety disorder tends to vary greatly from case to case. Some people, for example, might only suffer from very situational problems. People with extreme fears of public speaking are a good example of this. Other people facing social anxiety disorder might be afraid of speaking on the telephone, dating or attending parties. These people, however, might do perfectly fine in other social situations.
In extreme cases of social anxiety disorder, the condition infiltrates all aspects of life. A person with severe social anxiety disorder might fear going to school, trying to go to work or even going out of the house for a movie or on a date. While all forms of social anxiety disorder hamper a person's ability to live life to the fullest, those who suffer from extreme cases often cordon themselves off from life almost entirely.
Some of the symptoms that make social anxiety so troublesome are precisely those that people seek to prevent by avoiding situations that trigger them. Common physical symptoms of the disorder include nausea, headaches, dizziness, blushing and even profuse sweating and shaking. To stop the symptoms from happening - and to prevent embarrassment - people with social anxiety disorder often do anything they can to keep themselves away from triggers. Although this might seem like a smart thing to do, the end result is quite often avoidance of important and meaningful contact with the outside world.
Social anxiety disorder is quite often very treatable. People with the condition can seek counseling, take medications and work to overcome their fears. As is the case with all anxiety disorders, however, this is a serious condition that isn't necessarily recovered from immediately. People who are close to those with social anxiety problems are generally advised to offer lots of support and exercise patience.
When fears of looking foolish, embarrassing oneself or being scrutinized in public overwhelm, a more serious condition can be the root cause. Seeking help is almost always advised to ensure a person lives life to its fullest.
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