emotions & feelings commonly experienced by those with social anxiety In the following
excerpts from a study concerning why people with social anxiety don't get treatment, there is a direct correlation with certain
emotions & feelings. The articles that follow will also display emotions & feelings - as well as - situational experiences
that are commonly triggers for those with social anxiety.
"Almost 1 in 4 of the individuals with social anxiety reported that they had
thoughts of committing suicide in the past month."
"Participants who had never previously received
mental health treatment were asked to indicate why they hadn't sought such care. Uncertainty over where to go for treatment was the most commonly reported barrier."
"Individuals with social
anxiety were especially likely to report a fear of what others might think or say, a lack of insurance, an inability to afford treatment & uncertainty over where to go for treatment as reasons they hadn't sought treatment in the past."
"In the multivariate model, having social anxiety was associated with a 2.8 times greater risk of being afraid of what others might think or say of seeking treatment."
"Many participants chose not to seek treatment
earlier because they believed they could handle their symptoms by themselves. The decision to seek treatment
may occur only when symptoms become sufficiently severe, disruptive, serious, or unpredictable that
the individual can no longer manage or control them without assistance. Self-appraisal of illness severity is widely
believed to influence the decision of whether to continue coping without assistance or to seek professional
"A fear of what others might think or say also frequently inhibited treatment seeking, particularly among participants with social anxiety. Socially anxious people are often ashamed of their symptoms & embarrassed to discuss them with friends or health care professionals. It's ironic that the very symptoms socially anxious individuals seek to relieve may interfere with their ability to seek treatment."
"An inability to afford treatment, an uncertainty over where to go for treatment, a fear of what others might think or say & problems with clinical detection of social phobia each appear to
play a role."
- soically isolated
- in control sometimes
- out of control sometimes
(click on the underlined link word, "uncertainty" anywhere on this page to visit your unemotional side - "the uncertainty
page!" for more info!)
The modern world is defined by power, money & influence. This means that the task of growing spiritually is particularly difficult. In this world, we have
predisposed ourselves to confine our attentions to our physical comforts, both real & perceived, thus allowing our concept of self-worth & self-meaning can become confused.
So, how can we strike a balance between the material & spiritual aspects of our lives?
Looking inward for spiritual growth
To grow spiritually, one has to become introspective. This doesn’t
only mean remembering the things that happened in recent times. It means reflecting on thoughts, feelings, beliefs & the things that have motivated you.
Occasionally, you need to examine your experiences, your relationships, your decisions & so forth in order to gain useful insight into your goals as well as on your good & bad traits.
This insight allows you to sustain your good traits & discard the bad in order to allow your spiritual growth. Moreover, it gives
you clues on how to act, react & conduct yourself in the midst of any situation.
can learn the art of introspection as long as you have the courage & willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some tips when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself & focus on your areas for improvement.
Developing your potential thru spiritual growth
Religion & science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily
living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual.
Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western)
& Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences & good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being.
James earlier categorized these needs into 3: material, emotional & spiritual. When you've satisfied the basic physiological & emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next.
Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions & psychology is
the end of self-development: Christianity & Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology
views that self-development is an end by itself.
Finding meaning by spiritual growth
Religioms that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism & Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve
the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we
believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we don't merely exist.
We don't know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge & wisdom from our interactions with people & from our actions & reactions to the situations we're in. As we discover this
meaning, there are certain beliefs & values that we reject & affirm.
Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional & intellectual potentials into use;
sustains us during trying times & gives us something to look forward to - a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.
To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.
Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all
creation, live & inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers & sisters” even if there are no direct
Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity & Islam speak of the relationship between humans
& a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things thru the evolution theory. This
relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living & non-living things.
It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone & reach out to other people & become stewards of all other things around you.
is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn & from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.
forget, more info concerning uncertainty at your unemotional side's "uncertainty page!"
||observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional
state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself. |
dealing with the embarrassment of social anxiety in the workplace... here's a starting ground for learning more about embarrassment with social anxiety, but if you need to learn more about feeling embarrassed - click the underlined
link word above to go to feeling emotional, too & it's "embarrassed page!"
Don't Let Social Anxiety Disorder Ruin Your Career
By Abigail Franks
Social anxiety disorder is a disorder that's based on excessive self-consciousness.
This can manifest itself in a feeling of fear or dread of public situations like a doing a business presentation are speaking up in a
meeting. The symptoms of social anxiety disorder, or social phobia,
are very broad & can affect people in a variety of ways.
your dictionary definition
verb (used with object)
||to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of: to dread death. |
||to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience: I dread going to big parties. |
–verb (used without object)
to hold in respectful awe. |
||terror or apprehension as to something in the future; great
||a person or thing dreaded. |S
ome may be fine in public places like shopping, the supermarket or a mall but
be very self-conscious
if they need
to interact with anyone. Social phobia
is identified as having a persistent or chronic
of doing or saying something that might be judged
harshly & could result in embarrassment
In more severe cases, this fear can keep someone from the human to human interaction necessary to advance one's career, or even be successful in many school are educational situations.
It's no secret that one of the best ways
of moving up the corporate ladder is to make yourself visible to those in management above you. The most common way to gain
this visibility is by volunteering for higher profile projects & assignments. This offers the opportunity to deliver regular reports to upper management
& demonstrate not only project management skills but team leadership as well.
person suffering with social phobia however, the option to volunteer for a high profile project or assignment is simply not possible. While they may be mentally up to the challenge & possibly even the best person for the job, a social phobic
can limit themselves by the need to remain out of the spotlight.
This in turn, severely limits their visibility to management & can also limit career advancement potential.
Social Phobia Treatments
The good news is that there are many treatment options available
to help control social phobias. The most successful treatment has been a combination of psychotherapy & medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many social anxiety disorders.
This therapy focuses on control of a person's own thoughts & how they react or behave in relation to that thought process. This allows someone suffering with social phobia to move past the fear & anxiety & be able to continue on with their lives.
This doesn't mean that they're cured, only that the social phobia monster has been faced & controlled for a given situation.
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT works to gradually deal with situations that are increasingly more fearful or complex. This offers the sufferer a way to develop the confidence to face situations & deal with the anxiety.
"Those with social anxiety
either avoid these situations or endure them but with a lot of dread & discomfort."
are 2 basic forms of social anxiety disorder. There's the generalized
form of social anxiety disorder, where people are fearful of most social situations; this can involve, i.e., being on a job interview, meeting new people, eating in a restaurant,
going on a date, or speaking up in class.
During those situations, the
person feels like he or she's being judged or evaluated & is fearful of being humiliated or embarrassed or that people will recognize his or her anxiety. So, the person self-monitors symptoms of anxiety, such as tremor, rapid heart rate, sweating, mind going blank, knees getting wobbly & upset stomach."
"In fact, the physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder can look identical to a panic attack, but the symptoms occur only in situations where there's some kind of social provocation or where the person thinks that he or she may be embarrassed or humiliated, that people may be sort of observing them or may even reject them."
"There's a second subtype or form of
social anxiety disorder called discrete or performance
anxiety. These people don't have anxiety in most social situations but only in a performance situation, such as, i.e., public speaking, musicians who have to perform,
There again, people feel like they're being evaluated
or judged so they can have physical symptoms such as a panic attack, but it's only in these performance situations & it's not in all different kinds of social situations."
"There are a couple of interesting aspects of social anxiety disorder, including that it has a very early onset. Everyone who develops social anxiety disorder had a particular temperament as a child – namely, somewhat behaviorally inhibited & shy. It turns out that most children who are behaviorally inhibited & shy don't develop social anxiety disorder, only a subgroup do.
But all people who have social
anxiety disorder start early on by being shy & inhibited & then a subgroup of those individuals develop the generalized form of social anxiety disorder
& a subgroup of those individuals develop avoidant-personality disorder, where they pretty much end up avoiding most social situations."
"People with social
anxiety disorder are exquisitely sensitive to social cues, such as, i.e., another person's glance or look in their direction or, in particular, faces looking directly
toward the individual."
"Also, there's a positive feedback loop for those with social anxiety. The person makes some logical errors by thinking, "Everybody is paying attention to me, everybody can see that I'm anxious," which leads to hypervigilance, where the person monitors the physiologic reactions to anxiety, increasing feelings of anxiety along with its physiologic reactions & so on – a vicious cycle."
thoughts: everyone is paying attention to me
Physical symptoms triggered by social anxiety
- symptoms of anxiety, such as tremor
- rapid heart rate
- mind going blank
- knees getting wobbly
- upset stomach
Situations of discomfort or dread for social
- public speaking
- job interviewb
- meeting new people
- eating in a restaurant
- going on a date
- speaking up in class
- performance situations,
such as public speaking
- musicians who
have to perform
- social cues, i.e., another person's
glance or look in their direction
- in particular, faces looking directly
toward the individual
Real Solutions For Combatting Extreme Shyness
Most people experience some degree of shyness from time to time in certain
situations. In fact, only about 7% of the population claims that they never feel shy. For the rest of us, shyness can range from being an occasional, minor
inconvenience, to being a major problem.
Some people however, are afflicted with
a degree of shyness so severe that it's almost disabling. This type of acute shyness isn't only very painful to experience, but it can have devastating effects on a person’s social
life, happiness & career.
Severe shyness is
a complex mix of biology, upbringing, traumatic experiences & negative self-talk. Severe shyness
can co-exist with other debilitating psychological conditions such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, depression & anxiety.
Extreme shyness can take many forms & can
show up differently in different people. Some very shy people have problems being in large
gatherings, yet feel comfortable in small groups. Some shy people only feel acute discomfort with persons they've just met,
while others are never comfortable around people, even those they have known a long time.
& psychologists use the term “social anxiety disorder (SAD)” to describe
extremely debilitating shyness. There isn’t complete agreement about whether severe,
disabling social anxiety disorder is simply a more severe type of shyness,
or whether it's another type of disorder altogether.
Some very shy people are able to overcome their fears by learning social skills & practicing them frequently in social situations. Many also find it useful to gain some measure
of control over their uncomfortable physical reactions such as sweating & trembling, by using special relaxation techniques
& bio-feedback training.
Many very shy people
deal with their extreme anxiety by simply avoiding any social situations that might trigger their discomfort. This may mean
turning down invitations to parties & other social events, crossing the street in order to avoid running into someone
they know & even turning down promotions at work.
the feared situation may seem to the shy person like the perfect solution, it actually makes the problem
worse in the long run. Every time a shy person chooses to avoid social interaction, he reinforces in his mind how much he
fears dealing with other people. By choosing the short-term benefit of avoiding his anxious feelings, he reinforces the power that
his fear holds over him
Psychologists who specialize in the treatment of shyness disorders have discovered that avoiding social situations can actually
make the problem worse. Many psychologists who treat people aflicted by shyness recommend
a program of repeated & gradually increasing exposure to the feared situation, combined with helping the client learn new ways of thinking.
psychological therapies have been used to treat extreme shyness, most of them with limited
success. The most successful approaches use some variation of cognitive therapy, or behavioral therapy, or both of these,
combined with graduated & increasing exposure to the feared situation.
In cognitive therapy, the patient is taught to notice the thoughts he's
thinking while he is in the feared situation. The client learns to challenge his thoughts to see if they fit reality. If these thoughts don't match the reality,
the client is taught to substitute more realistic thoughts in their place.
Behavioral therapy aims to change the client’s behavior using a program of positive reinforcement of the desired behavior & negative
reinforcement of the undesired behavior.
Both cognitive therapy & behavior therapy
focus on teaching the client to deal with situations & symptoms in the present. Neither form of therapy delves into situations
in the client’s distant past. Those forms of psychotherapy that attempt to deal with shyness
by delving into the client’s past history haven't been shown to be effective in cognitive therapy techniques.
There are many books that can teach the reader to effectively use cognitive therapy techniques
for both depression & loneliness. If your case isn't particularly severe, you can often learn enough from reading a book
& doing the recommended exercises to greatly relieve your symptoms of shyness or depression.
Dr. David Burns, one of the pioneers in bringing cognitive therapy to a wider audience, has written
several very useful books & workbooks for the general public, including “Intimate Connections” & “Feeling
Good - the New Mood Therapy.”
In the past decade, researchers have discovered
that some anti-depressant medications, particularly the so-called SSRI’s (selective
serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), can also be very helpful in the treatment of extreme shyness. One of these SSRI drugs, Paxil, was the first to receive American F.D.A. approval as an effective treatment
for social anxiety.
In fact, ads for Paxil as a treatment for social anxiety have
been marketed directly to the public, not just to doctors. Other anti-depressant drugs in the SSRI group are also believed
to help in reliving social anxiety.
Does drug treatment
for shyness really work? Some very socially anxious people have tried everything that regular
psychotherapy has to offer, including cognitive therapy, yet they still suffer debilitating symptoms of shyness until they try SSRI drugs.
In some cases, the improvement in sociability after taking SSRI drugs can be swift & profound.
This class of drugs seems to help the socially anxious person turn down the excessive volume
of their inner judgmental thoughts.
If you're shy or socially anxious, should you take a pill to make you more friendly? There are pros & cons
to be considered when deciding whether or not to take a drug for social anxiety. The SSRI
drugs can cause nervous agitation, insomnia, weight gain & sexual dysfunction, as well as many other less common side
Some doctors & psychologists are concerned that a normal human trait,
shyness, has been declared a medical condition requiring expensive pharmaceutical intervention.
Because the SSRI drugs are relatively new, it isn't yet known what the long-term effects of this class of drugs may be.
Nevertheless, the SSRI drugs are very widely prescribed, particularly in North America, for depression
& social anxiety.
The difference in shyness experienced with drug therapy can be quite astounding, but it'll likely last only as long
as the drug is taken on a regular basis. When the drug is discontinued, the symptoms of shyness
will likely reappear. With the proper psychotherapy for shyness, the positive results are
likely to be long lasting.
In most locations it's easier to find a doctor who'll
prescribe SSRI medication to combat shyness than it is to find a counselor trained in the
use of therapy effective in treating shyness disorders.
article is an excerpt from the new downloadable book by Royane Real titled “Your Guide to Finding Friends, Making Friends,
and Keeping Friends” available at http://www.royanereal.com/
Understanding & Treating Anxiety
Most people suffer from anxiety at some
stage of their lives. Anxiety is usually a relatively natural response to a situation which
appears threatening or one to which we aren't accustomed.
So, i.e., people are sometimes quite naturally anxious
about passing tests, going for job interviews, or even speaking in public. They may experience 'butterflies' in their stomachs,
sweaty palms, restlessness, insomnia, or even slight dizziness. This usually goes away after the actual event has passed or
once they have become used to it.
The person who is terrified of their first public speech may become so accustomed to public speaking
after awhile that she doesn't give it a 2nd thought!
1. Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders
When anxiety becomes so chronic or intense
that it affects the person's day to day functioning & hampers performance, we'll usually diagnose an Anxiety Disorder.
Some people have what's called a Generalized Anxiety Disorder
(GAD). This means that their anxiety doesn't have a specific focus like, i.e., a phobia, but is more 'free floating' & forms part of their everyday functioning & response to life.
Symptoms of GAD include:
tension (edginess, jumpiness, trembling, restlessness, twitching, muscle aches, easily
startled, furrowed brow, inability to relax)
activity (sweating, heart palpitations, dry mouth, dizziness, tingling in hands & feet,
upset stomach, shortness of breath, frequent urination)
expectation (anxiety, fear, worry & persistent thoughts of potential misfortune)
& scanning (constantly on the alert for danger, failure or disaster, resulting in difficulties
in concentration, irritability, impotence & insomnia)
GAD is diagnosed if these symptoms have been present continuously for more than one month.
Other sufferers of anxiety are diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Phobic Disorders, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
A Panic Disorder will be diagnosed if there are at least 3 panic attacks within a 3 week period in reaction to situations that aren't life
threatening & which aren't associated with physical exertion.
Phobic Disorders include a persistent fear & compelling desire to avoid an object or situation to the extent that the person's life, functioning
& relationships are significantly impaired.
Examples of phobic events include Social Phobia (fear of embarrassment in social situations) & Agoraphobia
(fear of public places), fear of heights, flying, etc.
Phobic objects may include anything from animals & insects to numbers or colors.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may take the form of excessive & intrusive obsessive thoughts, images or impulses that are almost impossible to
ignore or stop, even if the individual understands that they're senseless or unfounded.
The disorder may also include repetitive & often purposeless behaviors that are often performed
according to certain rules & which are sometimes believed to prevent or produce some future situation or event. The person
doesn't find the activity pleasurable but does experience a sense of relief from tension when performing it. The obsessive
thoughts, behaviors or impulses usually interfere significantly with functioning.
of Anxiety Disorders
There are many different theories about the causes of anxiety disorders. Some theories say that they're genetic & are purely chemical in nature. There's some evidence for this, as anxiety disorders very often tend to run in families, even when children have been adopted at birth & never meet their biological parents.
Other theorists say that extreme anxiety is learnt from an overly anxious parent or that it originates from some
trauma during early childhood or from overly punitive parenting. It's very likely that there's usually a combination of these
potential causes & each case must be viewed as a unique one & well investigated before any pronouncements are made
about the causes.
3. Differential Diagnosis
we speak about differential diagnosis, we speak about ruling out the possibility that the anxiety
symptoms may be caused by something other than an Anxiety Disorder.
Anybody who experiences clusters of symptoms similar to those discussed above should always have
a thorough medical examination. Symptoms similar to those above may be attributable to thyroid problems, heart problems (particularly mitral valve), reactions to certain prescription or recreational
drugs & even ear infections or allergies.
If these are ruled out, the likelihood is that the person is suffering from an anxiety disorder. It makes little sense to keep treating someone for anxiety when that isn't the real problem
& it's surprising how often that actually happens!
Different therapists treat anxiety in different ways & this
depends largely on their particular training, experience & outlook. Also some clients respond better to one form of treatment
than others & it's important for the therapist to do a thorough assessment & get to know his client before deciding
Some therapists treat their clients with prescription drugs like anxiolytics,
beta blockers, or even antidepressants. This means that they're treating the symptoms of the anxiety.
Anxiety symptoms or OCD can often be successfully controlled by the careful use of prescription drugs.
Unfortunately many of them can be addictive or produce side effects & the person often builds
up a tolerance to them, needing to take more & more to achieve a similar effect. Another criticism is that no attention
is paid to the causes of the anxiety or to helping the person learn ways of controlling or managing the anxiety without drugs.
use techniques like progressive relaxation or meditation to help the client learn how to access his own calming response (everybody has one!) & to lower anxiety
levels to more comfortable states.
This is often combined with psychotherapy to help improve self-esteem & understand the causes
of the anxiety, cognitive therapy to 'reprogram' the negative thoughts underlying the anxiety, or desensitization aimed at eliminating phobias.
There are also many natural products which help & may be used alone or in
combination with therapy. It's usually best to speak to your pharmacist, health store owner, or health care professional to
find out what's best for you & how to take it, but some common herbs are:
more information go to http://www.nativeremedies.com/
to note that most anxiety disorders respond well to treatment & I'd encourage anyone who suffers from anxiety to go for
help. It can make all the difference to your life!
5. Self Help
There are many things that will help with anxiety.
If you're experiencing stress at work, in your relationships or anywhere else, look
& see what changes need to be made. Get help if you feel you're unable to do this yourself.
Regular exercise is one of the most beneficial things one can do & has been shown to have a significant effect on lowering anxiety symptoms & improving well being. At least 45 minutes 3 - 5 times a week will make all the difference!
Make sure that you eat regularly to avoid fluctuations in blood sugar level & have at least
7 to 8 hours of sleep a night! Sleep deprivation can cause symptoms of anxiety.
Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea (except herbal teas), sugary foods, chocolate
or carbonated drinks, particularly the cola variety. People who suffer from anxiety, who
are at greater risk for dependence, should never take alcohol & most recreational drugs. These substances can also worsen
the anxiety symptoms.
Include oats, bananas, avocado pears, whole-wheat pasta, bread & brown rice in your diet.
Set aside at least 15 minutes twice a day to sit in a quiet spot, close your eyes & practice
deep breathing. Listen to soothing music or a relaxation tape or CD.
If there's something
specific that is causing anxiety (like shyness or fear
of animals) see if you can't gradually become accustomed to it, little by little. This will also improve your
confidence & self esteem.
Talk to people about how you feel! Try & socialize,
start a hobby, take up a sport or develop new interests! Perhaps think about offering your services as a volunteer to help
others. Anything which takes your mind off yourself & keeps you interested will help!
As we've discussed, anxiety can
take many different forms & can be treated in many different ways. There are also many things which one can do oneself
to control or significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Most of these take some work & persistence,
but then so does an Anxiety Disorder!
Believe in yourself & spend time getting to know what works for you & then persevere with it. You'll be surprised how much
you can help yourself.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear of social situations. This fear arises when the individual believes that they may be judged, scrutinized or humiliated by others.
The anxiety can be specific to one social situation or can be more general in nature. Feelings of fear, shame & embarrassment are common. It shouldn't be confused with being shy or shyness.
Common anxiety provoking social situations include:
- talking with people in authority
- dating & developing close relationships
- making a phone call or answering the phone
- attending & participating in class
- speaking with strangers
- meeting new people
- eating, drinking, or writing in public
- using public bathrooms
that may occur during, or in anticipation of, the situation include:
- rapid heartbeat
- muscle tension
- upset stomach
- shaky voice
- dry mouth
- hyper ventilation
- difficulty making eye contact
In extreme cases this intense
uneasiness can progress into a full blown panic attack. The victim may experience shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness in hands & feet, or even a sense of being
outside of ones own body.
The level of mental & physical discomfort is so strong
that individuals often change their lifestyle to avoid being exposed to the situation.
Social anxiety disorder may be associated with other psychiatric disorders, such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder & depression.
source: Social Anxiety Support