The Wonderful World of Anxiety: Social Anxiety Disorder

Hey everyone! I want to start this post off by saying thank you all so much for the love on my last few posts. It truly means so much to me. I hope I can continue to make you guys proud!

I have decided to try to make sure that I post on Sunday mornings each week (aside from today lol already not on a good track). I am hoping that it will keep me accountable. Plus, it seems like a good time to read with your morning coffee!

This week, we are going to discuss Social Anxiety Disorder. I only had a few people reach out to me to help with this post by allowing me to write their stories in my blog, and others had a different disorder that caused them a little more grief.

Let’s recap: Social Anxiety Disorder is a very common disorder. This disorder means that there are symptoms or anxiety or fear in most, if not all, social situations.

This is because they have a fear of rejection and being humiliated. They feel fear so strongly they feel as though there is no way to calm or control it. This makes it difficult to go to work, school, or anything they do during their daily lives. They feel completely paralyzed and usually avoid any public places all together. Studies have shown that 7% of Americans have this disorder. It usually pops up during youth. Sometimes, Social Anxiety Disorder can be confused with a type of anxiety called performance anxiety. This includes physical symptoms of anxiety when you are in front of a crowd. There is a broad realm of anxiety disorders, so they are very similar in regards to symptoms. What separates them from each other are what triggers those symptoms.

Some signs and symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder are: trembling, sweating, have a rapid heart rate. The person may feel nauseated. They may look nervous by not making eye contact, rigid body posture, and speaking softly. People find it hard to be around other people whether they know them or not. Feeling self-conscious and awkward. Fear of judgment from others. Avoid going anywhere that is considered a public place.

The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls fear and anxiety but, several other parts of the brain are involved as well. When feeling anxious or scared, the amygdala communicates with those other parts of the brain, which adds them to the situation and makes things worse. Other possible causes of Social Anxiety Disorder are: underdeveloped social skills as well as it can run in families.

One of the people that offered to give me some information for this blog explained that not only can you feel anxiety in public places, you can also feel it when you are with family. I feel as though we can all relate somewhat to that.

“I get panic attacks after we leave family events. I start to have anxiety about how I socialized and it sends me into a panic attack and feeling like people don’t like me and I’m annoying…. the smallest things cause me to panic I but mostly when things comes to my children. That’s why I don’t sleep… I may in bed and have panic attacks about what if’s all night long until I force myself to get up and check on all the kids. I wear myself out!”

Another person wanted to share something they learned from her therapist. Coping skills are so important when it comes to anxiety. With Social Anxiety Disorder, learning skills to help you relax could save you a lot of the feeling of pressure from others.

“When I was still in therapy, she taught me 7 count breathing which helps a lot! Breathe in for 7, hold for 7, out for 7.”

I did not have that many people interview with me that had this disorder but, there are so many in the world. Kindness is key when seeing someone look obviously anxious or upset. Those of you that have been blessed with this disorder, breathing techniques are so important. I learned the 4-square technique from my therapist:

  • Picture a box.
  • Breathe in through your nose slowly for 4 seconds, which would trace one side of the square.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth for 4 seconds, tracing the top of the square.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds, tracing the other side.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth, tracing the bottom side.
  • Then hold your breath for 4 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 more times.

I hope this breathing skill helps you, I know it helped me a lot!

So I have decided that I am going to publish my posts on Sunday mornings. Today was an exception because I have been pretty busy this weekend, so it starts next Sunday. Thank you all again for the love and kind comments. My e-mail is always open if anyone would like to speak with me!

Bipolar Weirdo ❤

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. If you have mental health related questions, I highly recommend you seek a healthcare professional.

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