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Social Anxiety Disorder: Dropping Out of the Mainstream

Aug 17, 2007
Victims of social anxiety disorder live in constant fear. Can you imagine how humiliated and terrified you would be if every single time you were in a social situation you felt like everyone in the room was watching you, laughing at you and judging you?

Everyone is capable of getting a little nervous when giving a formal presentation or meeting people for the first time. But for the 10 million Americans with social anxiety disorder, certain situations are completely intolerable. Social anxiety disorder is the third most common mental health disorder, after major depression and substance abuse.

People with social anxiety disorder syndrome are excessively fearful that others will criticize their public behavior. They worry that they will appear inarticulate or unintelligent, or that they will show embarrassing signs that indicate they are anxious or weak.

In his amazing ebook titled "Prisoners Of Our Thoughts", Gary Miller points out that social anxiety occurs in varying degrees. Miller, who pulled himself out of the depths of social anxiety disorder, said: "As irrational as it may seem to other people as well as to the person who is affected, the fear ultimately takes over, causing many problems in family, work and social relationships."

Miller notes that social anxiety can cause low self-esteem, depression, self-consciousness, avoidance, job limitations and lack of assertiveness, along with a myriad of other problems.

"I have seen these fears limit some of the brightest people I know", said Miller

Many socially anxious people find it difficult, if not impossible to eat, drink and /or write in public. They fear they are being watched. This causes fears to emerge, and the person experiences trembling, nausea, sweating and other symptoms.

Dating is a major issue for sufferers of social anxiety. Dating requires one-on-one social situations that affected people will find difficult, if not impossible to handle. Fear of social situations isn't the only problem in these situations. Socially anxious people often fear interacting with the opposite sex.

Physical symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder are similar to panic disorder and may include rapid heart rate, profuse sweating, trembling voice and shaky hands. These symptoms are doubly distressing because they further diminish the self esteem of the affected person.

In some cases sufferers will take extreme measures (drop out of school, refuse to go to college, turn down promotions at work or even avoid going to the bank). Rather than risk humiliating themselves, they drop out of the mainstream of life.

If you or someone you care about suffers from social anxiety syndrome you can reclaim your life, just as Gary Miller did.

Both social anxiety medication and behavioral therapy have proven successful in treating the disorder. Most treatment plans include a combination of both. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
About the Author
Jonathan Sapling writes extensively on anxiety disorder and related mental health issues.
To read more about anxiety disorder go to his Anxiety Disorder Site
Or visit his blog about: Mental Health News
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