A Brief introduction to Social anxiety
Arguably, we’ve all experienced anxiety at some point is our lives. Whether when tasked with giving a presentation over some audience or during interviews, we might have felt anxious. It’s normal unless it gets hold of you. People who experience social anxiety are comfortable when they are alone but gets anxious in social settings. It manifest itself in depression, fear of embarrassment, feelings of inferiority among others.
Evidently, social anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders, second after alcohol and drug dependence. In every 100 people, about 7 of them have social anxiety. 13% of the total population experiences it at least at some point in their lives.
Social anxiety could be general or specific. It is general anxiety when one is never comfortable in any given setting. They find solace when they are alone. One dreads the thought of appearing in public such as being introduced. Even the mere thought of having to eat in public scares them. Other aspects such as getting into a room full of people like parties is also not their thing. They often feel inadequate, incompetent, and strange or even sidelined in almost every facet of life involving some sort of social interaction On the other hand, specific social anxiety manifest itself in a few situations. It could be fear of public speaking alone, making one stammer or sweat during a presentation.
In most cases, general social anxiety is more common. But generally speaking, social anxiety, whether general or specific is counterproductive. You don’t expect its sufferers to pose a question or put across a contrary opinion, leave alone speaking for their rights. As well, the outcomes could me more serious limiting one to a boring life.
The most common outcome is avoidant personality disorder. This is where an individual is timid when in public and looks for ways to avoid such places. It could result with one denying job offers due to the feeling of inadequacy. They feel completely unable to discharge their duties even if they have to interact with a small group. They become overly secretive having not even one close friend. Theirs is a life of lone business, a life revolving around themselves. Basic issues like intimate relationships is also a sort of an inconvenience to them.
If unchecked, social anxiety eventually results in low self-esteem. These people are overly concerned with what people think about them. The fact that most of their time is spent alone could bring in the issue of isolation. They might think they are neither loved nor appreciated. They do not even feel involved with their peers, eventually affecting their self-esteem.
In conclusion, social anxiety can be overcome. With counselling sessions and periodic reassurance by their peers that their presence matters, the sufferers can slowly improve. An important fact here is for them to acknowledge the fact that all in not well as far as their social lives are concerned. And to deliberately seek to address the situation. Support from friends and family is core