Monday, August 07, 2006

Social Anxiety Or Social Phobia

Social Anxiety Or Social Phobia
By Joann Cheong

People with Social Anxiety or feel that they might have this condition must be opened about it and see a doctor to be given appropriate treatment before it's too late.

Have you experienced what it must be like meeting your big boss for the first time? The thought of being watched by your superior while working is stressful, isn't it? Or, maybe you are so anxious to go to a beach party because you have not shed enough pounds to wear the two-piece swim suit (who knows how many years have them!), and you are so worried on what the people might say if you wear them with those excess baggage wrapping around your body? Those feelings are just normally. For as long as you have reasons to be anxious about anything, it is perfectly normal .But, if the anxiety is eating you up and you become anxious about what other people might say, or think, or do to you, which you know does not have rational basis, and the worst part is, you find it difficult to control your thought or emotion, that is social anxiety.

Social anxiety or social phobia is one of the largest mental health care problems in the word in the present day. A person with social anxiety simply spends time alone, closeted, away from people. They tend to choose to be alone than to be around with other people for fear that they might not fit in some ways or the other. Even when they are with familiar people, they may still feel overwhelmed and have the feeling that every movement and thought they made have been constantly watched or criticized. The feeling of being observed or being misjudged is one of the things that keep them away from people.

People with social anxiety are often misdiagnosed and are usually labelled as schizophrenic, manic-depressive, among other detrimental misdiagnoses. Because there few social anxious people have heard of their own condition and have never seen it discussed on any media, they tend to think that they're alone in this world suffering from the disturbing symptoms. The tendency is they keep their condition to themselves for fear of being misjudged, and with the lack of info, education, and proper treatment social anxiety continues to impair their lives. In addition, when the time comes that people with social phobia finally gets to their feet and seeks help, the chances are very slim. When worst comes to worst, people who experienced this condition for a day, will have it everyday for the rest of hi/her life. They are people with social anxiety disorder.

One thing common to all socially anxious people is that they share the same knowledge that their thoughts and fears are basically irrational, which only means, they know exactly that the people they think are misjudging and criticizing them are not true at all. They acknowledged that their thoughts, doubts, and feelings are in a way exaggerated and irrational, yet, despite the fact that they know what's really going on, they find it hard to control, and still continue to feel that way.

If there's bad, there's always good, and the good thing is that social anxiety is curable. There are many therapeutic methods which have been studied, but cognitive-behavioural therapy is the only modality that has been made known to work effectively. Actually, the treatment of social phobia through cognitive-behavioural methods has the capacity to produce long-term, permanent relief to sufferers of social phobia. Isn't it a happy ending after all?

About the Author
Joann Cheong provides information about social anxiety at the
Social Anxiety Medication blog.