Difficulty in functioning socially, with other people, in personal or professional life is an indication of a social anxiety disorder that leads to depression. What is this all about?

Social Anxiety Disorder — What Is It?

Do you have extreme stage fright? Do you have difficulty expressing yourself when in the company of non-relatives or not-so-close acquaintances, unfamiliar people? For all you know, you may be suffering from social anxiety disorder. This disorder, sometimes known also as social phobia, is that state of prolonged social anxiety and worry that causes you great distress and hampers you from functioning properly in some, if not most, areas of your daily life.

People around you may think that you are just shy since you have been this way since you were a kid. Being bashful is the adjective that describes you best. However, there is a line that separates bashfulness from social anxiety disorder.

Are You Just Shy?

For example, if you have the disorder, you may not want to mingle with other people because doing so brings you headaches,nausea or worse will cause you to vomit.

With being shy, you don’t feel like vomiting and dizzy, you are only apprehensive of how you will approach other people. Once you and the persons you are talking too have warmed up to each other, you can converse with them without difficulty. A person with social anxiety can not push himself to socialize. There is no such thing as a warm up period for him.


Clinically, social anxiety disorder is manifested by excessive anxiety and self-consciousness in the most ordinary of everyday,normal situations involving other people. Sometimes, the disorder is limited, as when you are only fearful of speaking or performing in front of an audience, or you would not want to be socializing with others. But in some cases the social phobia is so broad and diverse that the anxiety manifests itself in almost every situation where you are exposed to other people.

Socio-phobics have this irrational fear of being watched, of being judged for their actions, of being evaluated every time byothers, whether these others be family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers. The anxiety is so intense that the sociophobicindividual can not work or can not study, can not talk, can not

In front of other people, do you sweat profusely? Do you tremble or blush excessively? Do you get goose bumps in the company of a group of people? Do you become panicky when asked to speak in front of others?

Degrees of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety has degrees of disorder. It may be mild or severe. Mild social anxiety can be cured by therapy and simpleself-help techniques such as holding a stress ball during a conference or a group meeting.

The severe form of this social anxiety needs medications since most of the times anxiety is accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as hearing things when exposed to the public.

How Do You Address Social Anxiety Disorder?

The repercussions and anti-social effects of this disorder are far-reaching, so much so that you need to admit and accept the fact if you feel any of the tell tale signs of a social anxiety disorder. Diagnosis is very important for the proper treatment regimen to be prescribed accordingly. Cognitive behavior therapy is helpful in this. The behavioral aspects of the therapy, coupled with the cognitive ones, arebrought in to affect thinking patterns and reactions to situations that may cause anxiety. Coupled with the therapy are some forms of prescriptive medications that include antidepressants of the SSRI and SNRI types, the selectiveserotonin re-uptake inhibitors and the serotonin-norepinephrinere uptake inhibitors, respectively.

Family Support

The pharmacological treatments, some experts contend, may not be enough to totally cure the sufferer of the disorder. Aside from the side effects brought about by the medications, the tendency to relapse after the discontinuance of the drugs is possible.

A deeper need for comprehensive psychotherapy may be in order to ensure prolonged, if not permanent treatment. Take note,however, that the therapy must be supported by the family and close circle of friends; their support and guidance is critical to reinforce the patient’s feeling of self-worth again. Only then will social functioning and ability to interact be possible to be regained. Social anxiety disorder and depression are curable; it only takes a little more help from the people behind the sufferer.