According to the Nation Institute of Mental Health, 12% of American adults suffer from social anxiety disorder. Most people assume anxiety is the same as being shy or introverted, but that’s a common misconception. Here’s all you need to know about this crippling mental health concern:
Anxiety and its impact on social life
Anxiety disorder makes it difficult for you to enjoy life. You try your best to avoid social situations due to your irrational fear of being judged, but this can significantly impact your career and social life.
The mental disorder affects all your interactions and relationships; it can cause you to have self-esteem issues, constant negative thoughts, and depression. Your tendency to avoid social interactions at all costs may affect your people and communication skills too.
Anxiety also prevents you from doing everyday “normal” things such as asking questions in class or asking for directions when you’re lost, eating, and drinking in public. The idea of being judged or humiliated deters the quality of life you’re living. It’s no longer just about your social life. You might be inclined to believe people around you judge or hate you. You may tend to stay away from crowded places that includes concerts and festival because you feel like you’d embarrass yourself or be awkward.
Without proper treatment and help, anxiety can turn into other mental illnesses such as depression. But what causes you to feel this way?
Root causes of anxiety
Social anxiety disorder can sometimes be genetic, but it’s not necessary that if you have it, your siblings might too. Misreading or misjudging someone’s facial expressions could also lead you to believe people don’t like you, and you internalize those beliefs. Seeing someone frown or rolling their eyes even when it’s not about you could worsen your anxiety. Growing up shy or introverted leads you to have poor social skills, deterring the adult you from building connections and being confident when interacting with people.
As with any other illness, we have anxiety medication that reduces feelings of fear and anxiety. If you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s best to visit a doctor to get a prescription. Only a professional can determine your case and recommend medication best suited to you.
You can also look into getting therapy for treating your anxiety disorder. Psychotherapy helps you develop a different way of thinking, reacting, and behaving in situations that make you uncomfortable. A licensed professional can help you learn and understand your disorder and teach you ways to improve your social skills.
If you’re looking for a licensed therapist in Birmingham, Alabama, reach out to Dr. Myers.