Social anxiety disorder or social phobia occurs in individuals with an innate fear of being watched and judged by others in a social situation. At times, their social anxiety issues can become so severe that they stop going out with their friends, family, and to places with several people.
Their biggest fear is that they will end up making mistakes, which will then make them look bad and humiliate them in the process. People with a severe case of the nerves can suffer from panic attacks. It should be evident by their behavior that they require help to deal with social anxiety issues. Hence, you have to recognize the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and find ways to help them overcome it.
Do They Suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder?—Signs to Look For
Do you suspect someone you know is suffering from social anxiety issues? To help you identify signs of social anxiety disorder, here are typical signs to look for:
Sign #1: Nonstop Worrying
People who constantly worry about the littlest things in life may have social anxiety disorder. Throughout the week, they feel nervous and anxious, as they have always something at the back of their mind that is nagging them. Their constant worrying often leaves them feeling tired and fatigued.
Sign #2: Restless Sleep
People with anxiety disorders have difficulty sleeping, so therefore will appear tired. They have dark circles under their eyes from a lack of sleep and are always complaining about being up all night.
Sign #3: Illogical Fears
They have a long list of irrational fears such as animals, flying, and crowds. If one of their fears becomes too overwhelming, it will disrupt their life and routine.
Sign #4: Contact Muscle Tension
Social anxiety disorders can often lead to muscle tension. People who suffer from it may have a habit of clenching their jaw, balling their fists, or flexing their muscles. If you notice someone doing that several times a day unconsciously, you can suspect him or her to suffer from social anxiety disorder.
Sign #5: Severe Indigestion
If the individual is a close relative of you, you may know they suffer from chronic and severe indigestion. Chronic indigestion can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes cramping, stomachaches, gas, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea.
Sign #6: Extreme Stage Fright
Having a few butterflies before going up to address a crowd of people is normal, but when no amount of practice can ease the fear, you can assume the individual suffers from social anxiety issues.
Sign #7: Insecure and Self-Conscious
Some people who suffer from social anxiety disorder tend to be insecure about their looks and behavior. They do not like to eat or drink in front of people even if only a few people are present at the gathering. Their thought process at that time is that everyone is probably focused on them and that thought nags them the entire day, making them nauseous.
How Can You Help?
- Encourage them to see a therapist
- Practice deep breathing exercises alongside them
- Motivate them to write a list of fears they have
- Help them create goals for them to conquer
- Tell to adopt a positive outlook on situations
- Suggest them to take medication to reduce social anxiety such as Aniracetam
- Always be supportive and encouraging to someone dealing with social anxiety disorder.