Social Anxiety Disorder is a form of anxiety disorder in which an individual will have anxiety and worry over interacting and performing in social conditions. An individual with Social Anxiety Disorder will have heightened fears of embarrassing themselves or will have negative thoughts about how others will see or portray them. In many cases, the individual may avoid talking or interacting in social situations or may avoid going to social situations altogether.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder aren’t entirely understood but are believed to be caused by a combination of Temperamental (behavioural inhibition and negative evaluation), Environmental (childhood maltreatment) and Genetic factors.
Difficulties arising from Social Anxiety Disorder
- Higher levels of school dropout and inability to perform properly in class
- Low workplace productivity and maintaining employment
- Much lower social capabilities, associated with being single, unmarried, divorced, and not having children
- Inability to enjoy leisurely activities
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder include:
- Fear of social situations
- Fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized
- Fear that individual will act in a way that will be criticized or be evaluated in a negative way
- Out of proportion fear or anxiety
- Fear lasting 6 or more months
- Significant impairment as a result of anxiety
Treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder, most commonly through Neurofeedback, which can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Other therapies such as Biofeedback can be helpful as well. Biofeedback can help by reducing the overactivation of anxiety responses, whereas Clinical Hypnosis can get rid of the root cause(s) of anxiety in the subconscious mind.