1. What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?

    December 2, 2013

    What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?

    Social anxiety is a growing problem in the United States. More and more people are becoming diagnosed with this disorder. It is definitely not a made-up disorder. Many people may think it’s “no big deal,” but it is a huge deal to those that are diagnosed with it. It is no mild feeling of uncomfort like many people think of it as. It is extremely stressful to the person that is diagnosed with it, and it can have a huge impact on their daily lives. Social anxiety is something that needs to be addressed and taken seriously.


    Variable Between People

    First of all, social anxiety is extremely variable between people. For some people, social anxiety could only occur when there is a large group of people (50+ people). Others may notice panic attacks when going to the grocery store to pick up groceries. For others, it could be when having a conversation with a couple people. Others could even have anxious or nervous thoughts about picking up the telephone and calling the mechanics shop to see if their car is fixed. Social anxiety varies in types and severities from person to person, but it provides a great amount of stress to all of the people that have it.


    Daily Struggle

    People with social anxiety struggle with their feelings every day. These feelings can take control over their lives. They can seemingly smother their lives by affecting their feelings every single day. People with social anxiety have super strong feelings that can hurt their ability to contact with people.


    Social anxiety can affect a person’s ability to connect with people. People who can’t connect with others on a social level can’t make friends themselves. Thus, people with social anxiety are usually the quiet people that don’t have much to say. They also have a tendency to be a “loner.”


    People with social anxiety always struggle with worry. They worry about being in social situations. They fret over the least things. If they say or do something wrong, they think that the people around them will hold the thought in their head for a long time. Many think that others will never forget their embarrassing words or actions. In reality, others actually let things go pretty easily, but people with social anxiety have trouble grasping that idea. People who struggle with social anxiety have trouble being in social situations, and they always worry about what others will think of them. It is thought that their worry about what others think about them is the cause for their worry of being in social situations.


    Children and teens with social anxiety tend to be the quiet people in school. They have a tendency to be the people who sit in the back of the classroom and don’t say much. They obviously struggle with oral reports. Many even have trouble raising their hand to answer a question. This can occur even if they know the answer. They usually get embarrassed easily.


    Adults with social anxiety struggle with being in social situations also. They usually have anxious thoughts about going to work, and they almost always worry about their boss will think of them. They feel like they’re going to mess up somehow. They also have anxious thoughts about their co-workers and other equivalent employees. Many have anxious thoughts about eating in a restaurant. They usually feel like they are going to drop their plate and get embarrassed. They may even struggle with getting their plate filled. They can feel like they will spill food when filling their plate and everybody will look at them with disgust.


    In conclusion, the people who have social anxiety struggle with their anxiety every single day. They have trouble communicating efficiently and struggle with making friends. They live their lives with constant worry and fear of embarrassment. The above situations are just a few of the many struggles that people with social anxiety deal with on a daily basis. Social anxiety affects a surprising number of people. These people become overwhelmed by daily life, but they somehow deal with it. Often, people hide their anxiety. Many people never even get diagnosed with their anxiety. Cognitive behavior therapy and sometimes even anti-anxiety medications are used to treat the people who struggle with social anxiety. This type of treatment can be of great help to people who struggle with social anxiety.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahrr/5357518701/

  2. What is Social Anxiety and How to Beat It

    July 13, 2013

    anxious and crying

    It is quite common for people to feel tense or awkward during social interactions. If this happens to you often or if you feel stressed before meeting other people, you might suffer from social anxiety. Do the following situations make you anxious?

    • Large crowds of people
    • Meetings
    • Social settings
    • Public speaking
    • Parties
    • Getting to know new people
    • Working in groups
    • People that praise or acknowledge you
    • Receiving attention from other people

    Varying degrees of social anxiety

    If one or more of these things make you nervous it doesn’t necessary mean you suffer from social anxiety. There is a bit of ambiguity here but you need to keep in mind that many people feel a bit nervous in one or more of these situations. There are varying degrees of social anxiety too. A good way to diagnose yourself is by answering the question: ‘Do I actively try to steer clear of social occasions?’ If your answer to this question is ‘yes’, you probably do suffer from social anxiety. If you really want to find out if you have social anxiety, the best way is to see a professional who can diagnose you properly. If you feel avoiding social situations is a daily disruption, it might be time to admit you suffer from a mental problem. The first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem.

    Mental problem

    When you fear judgement by others, you may suffer from a social phobia. When you suffer from this, you fear you will be embarrassed or lose control in a social setting. The fear of embarrassment can cause people to actively try to avoid social situations. A social phobia will get worse when people find themselves in a social situation they don’t want to be in, which will cause them to act in an irrational way. After this happens they’ll try to avoid a social occasion even more. In certain settings, a lot of people will be nervous. Especially talking in front of groups of people is something not all of us are comfortable with. Many of us will feel self-conscious under these circumstances but still have the strength to push through. People with a mental problem have such a strong reaction to this that they physically will not be able to stand up and talk. They experience stressful days, weeks or even months before the event will take place.

    Control your inner voice

    Everyone has an inner voice that can give you positive messages or negative messages. You can say to yourself ‘I’m not successful with other people and in social situations.’ The more often you say this to yourself, the more you will begin to believe your own story. You’ve got the opportunity to have a positive life story or a negative one. You can treat social anxiety with visualization techniques and imagery. You can get rid of a negative belief by opposing it yourself. For instance, if you believe you aren’t good at meeting new people, try to think back of a time where you were successful on such an occasion. Meditate on it and write it down: every time you read this you’ll think back of something positive where you handled the situation well. This will challenge the negative belief you have about yourself and make you feel more confident.

    Do you really have a mental problem?

    You need to be absolutely positive you have social anxiety. It is dangerous to think that something is wrong with you when you’re perfectly normal. Unfortunately, some doctors are quite willing to prescribe drugs to you even when you don’t have a mental problem. You need to keep in mind that there is a difference between being a little stressed when you meet someone new versus having a mental illness. Therefore, if you’re often stressed in social occasions don’t run to the doctor immediately but rather try to control your inner voice through meditation and doing things that make you feel more confident.

    Image Credit: Anaïs Nannini

  3. Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders

    April 17, 2013

    anxiety disorders

    by Tsvetan Petrov

    Everyone feels anxiety at certain point in their life. It’s completely natural to feel anxiety in challenging or dangerous times. That can come when a person is just feeling uncomfortable or in real threatening danger. Spending too much time in that state of anxiety can mean that there is an underlying disorder. Different things can cause these anxiety disorders and each one has their one particular effects.

     Anxiety Disorders – Most Common

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    A person that consistently feels anxiety when there is no practical reason to remain in that state might have a generalized anxiety disorder. When a person with this disorder is asked why they’re feeling that way, they won’t be able to answer clearly. The typical bout will take around 6 months. It’s particularly common in women. The anxiety doesn’t go away and continues to eat away at the people suffering from generalized anxiety disorders. That can lead to a number of medical concerns like insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness, and headaches.


    People with a phobia don’t have consistent anxiety without a trigger. They typically have a very specific trigger for their anxiety. They develop an overbearing fear of something or some situation. That fear can be something close to reasonable or something completely unnecessary depending on the severity. Whenever that fear begins to kick in, the person suffering may experience strong feelings of fear. That includes trouble breathing, heart palpitations, nausea, and shaking. Some of the most popular phobia’s that people have are blood, small areas, animals, and heights. Phobia’s can lead people to make poor decisions in an attempt to escape a high anxiety situation.

    Panic disorder

    People suffering from Panic disorders or agoraphobia will unexpectedly suffer from massive bouts of anxiety called panic attacks. They’ll often include chest pain, dizzy spells, fear, shaking, and discomfort with being alone. Many panic attacks are completely irrational and sufferers often even know that is the case. Often people will go out of their way to not be alone or in a public situation for that reason. Panic attacks can be minor or severe enough that someone may cause self harm.

    Social Anxiety

    Social anxiety is a phobia of social situations. People suffering from social phobia will often suffer symptoms like a panic attack when they’re exposed to public situations. They may become dizzy, shake, feel short of breath, and they may even have heart palpitations. This social anxiety can occur with strangers or close friends. It’s often most severe when the person becomes the center of attention of the group.

    OCD – Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

    OCD is an anxiety disorder that is caused by an obsessive feeling or thought. They often will manage their own anxiety by doing repetitive tasks that don’t allow anxiety to slip in throughout the day. One common example is someone that is OCD about cleanliness. They can feel anxiety at the sight of a little bit of a problem. That will lead to the person cleaning and reordering continuously without any logical end in sight.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    When a person suffers through a particularly damaging event in their life, they may end up suffering from recurring bouts of that anxiety and stress. That is Post-traumatic stress disorder. It can often be caused by a simple similarity between the damaging event and what is happening (familiar object or person.) The person may suddenly fall back into reliving the events that they suffered through. This can lead to panic attacks, loss of control, and crying. Often people suffering will have less obvious symptoms like avoidance of certain situations and trouble sleeping. Post traumatic stress disorder can start instantly after the event or it can start decades later.

    Anxiety disorders need to be understood to be treated effectively in a healthy way. Many of the methods used to work with an anxiety disorder, not only control the symptoms, but also aim to strengthen the natural mechanisms. A person must be diagnosed and treated accordingly to eliminate the anxiety that they feel.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini