Understanding Social Phobia and the Right Way to Overcome It

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Understanding Social Phobia and the Right Way to Overcome It
Understanding Social Phobia and the Right Way to Overcome It

Social phobia or social anxiety disorder is a type of phobia that is characterized by excessive anxiety or fear when interacting with people around you. If not treated immediately, social phobia can have an impact on the disruption of daily activities and the sufferer's quality of life

Humans are social creatures. Interacting with other people is one of the most basic things for every human being. However, in some people, excessive fear and anxiety is experienced when someone has to interact or be in a crowd.This condition is called social phobia.

Understanding Social Phobia and the Right Way to Overcome It - Alodokter

It is not uncommon for people with social phobia to experience depression, causing disruption of work productivity or achievement at school. However, this condition can be treated in various ways, from therapy to medication.

Social Phobia Symptoms

A person with social phobia will feel anxious and panicked when he has to meet other people or be in public places. This is due to worry or fear of being noticed, judged, and criticized by others.

People with social phobia will also be afraid to do something in public because they are worried that other people will embarrass or make fun of everything they do.

Therefore, people with social phobia tend to avoid meeting or being with people other than family. As a result, he will find it difficult to make friends and tend to be unable to maintain friendships.

Social interactions that are considered normal, but become a problem for people with social phobia are talking to strangers, making eye contact, dating, entering a room full of people, starting a conversation, and even going to school or work.

In addition to some of the symptoms and signs above, the symptoms of social phobia can be divided into two parts, namely:

Psychic symptoms

There are several recognizable psychological symptoms of social phobia, including:

  • Feeling very afraid that someone will find out that he is nervous
  • Feeling very anxious that someone knows they are stressed
  • Avoiding parties because he doesn't like being in crowded places
  • Avoid eating, drinking, or working in public
  • Avoiding the use of public toilets
  • Feeling panic when receiving a phone call
  • Avoid crowded places like shopping malls

Physical symptoms

People with social phobia can also experience physical symptoms, especially when feelings of fear and anxiety are present. These physical symptoms include:

  • Body sweating or shaking
  • Exhaustion
  • Face or blushing cheeks
  • Heart rate gets faster
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • muscles feel tense
  • Nausea or stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Dizzy
  • Feeling like fainting

Social Phobia Is More Than Just Shyness

Although social phobia is characterized by an uncomfortable attitude in public places or in a crowd, this condition is much different from being shy. People who are shy may feel anxious or embarrassed when in public or speaking in front of many people.

Meanwhile, people with social phobia, already feel anxious, afraid, and panicked, long before speaking in public or being in the company of other people. Symptoms such as a faster heart beat and difficulty focusing on the situation also occur long before the person with the phobia has to speak in public.

Another difference between shyness and social phobia is that shyness is temporary or short-term. This condition also does not interfere with social life, such as school, work, and friendships.

Meanwhile, people with social phobia experience it in the long term to the extent that it interferes with their social life.

Why Social Phobia Occurs?

Social phobia has no known cause. However, research results show that social phobia can be triggered by the following:

1. Genetics

Social phobia may occur in a child due to imitating the behavior of his parents who also have social phobia.

2. Environment

Social phobia can also occur if you grew up in an overprotective family environment or experienced violence in the family. In addition, social phobia may also be experienced by someone who has had a bad experience, such as sexual harassment or bullying.

3. Serotonin deficiency

Social phobia may also be related to the hormone, serotonin, which regulates mood. Anxiety disorders may also be caused by a lack of the hormone serotonin in the body.

4. Brain structure

Another cause of social phobia is thought to be related to the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls anxious thoughts or feelings, and regulates responses to fear. Social phobia can occur if the amygdala is overactive.

The Right Way to Overcome Social Phobia

Actually, people with social phobia realize that the fear and anxiety they experience are excessive, even unnatural. However, most of them don't know how to deal with it.

There are several ways to deal with social phobia, including:

1. Medical treatment

The use of drugs to treat social phobia must be in accordance with the instructions and under the supervision of a doctor, because they cannot be used arbitrarily. Some types of drugs that are commonly used are paroxetine or sertraline.

In some sufferers, the symptoms of social phobia can be reduced by taking medication regularly. However, some other sufferers may not feel better by taking these drugs. In fact, symptoms can reappear if the drug is stopped.

The use of drugs may also cause side effects, namely nausea, stomach pain, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.

2. Psychotherapy

Other treatment methods that can be used to treat social phobia are behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The therapist will help sufferers recognize fears as well as train them to change fear and anxiety into a more pleasant feeling.

Sufferers will be trained to realize that the situation is actually nothing to be afraid of and worry about. This therapy begins by exposing the patient to a mild uncomfortable situation, then gradually increases it.

The advantage of this therapy is not only curing the symptoms, but also social phobia itself. So, when the sufferer has managed to recover, it is less likely that social phobia will come back.

3. Relaxation therapy

In this therapy, patients will be taught breathing and meditation techniques. Thus, sufferers can also do simple relaxation at home so they feel more relaxed and over time social phobia can be cured.

Unfortunately, this method can only help reduce stress caused by certain social phobias and is less effective for dealing with general social phobia.

Don't let your life be disturbed because of social phobia.This condition can be cured, as long as you are serious about the treatment given. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of social phobia, immediately consult a doctor so that treatment can be carried out immediately.

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