We know the feeling of reciting in front of the class – anxious that you might embarrass yourself despite knowing the correct answer. Possibly, you may have experienced awkward and uncomfortable situations when meeting another person or gotten sweat-soaked palms before making an introduction.

Sure, public speaking and walking on an aisle with a roomful of strangers is normal, but this is difficult for people who have Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social anxiety kept them down and limited them from doing what they needed to do throughout everyday life.

The meaning of “social anxiety disorder” has advanced in recent years as the case’s reality became clearer. Experts reliably demonstrated and presented specific symptoms of anyone experiencing Social Anxiety Disorder.

If we treat every individual who is essentially “shy” as having a Social Anxiety Disorder, it only implies generalization and misdiagnosis.

While if professionals under-diagnose Social Anxiety Disorder, individuals with the signs and symptoms won’t get the required treatment that they need.

Discussing its difference is important, especially when you are a parent who has a shy child – how do you know the clear line between normal or abnormal behavior?

What are the effects of social anxiety on a person?

Social anxiety disorder can devastatingly affect your school performance, work, financial freedom, and even relationships with other people. People who have Social Anxiety Disorder often experience isolation, depression, and even drug and alcohol misuse.

Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder experience significant anxiety levels in everyday life, particularly in activities as they fear social settings wherein people may watch, study, or judge them. This elevated level of anxiety causes them to keep away from circumstances they might want to take an interest in.

Individuals with social anxiety experience increasing levels of anxiety, stress, fear, shame, and humiliation consistently. The range of anxiety experienced is sufficient to incite drastic emotional distress and cause the person to avoid settings or events instead of confronting fear and anxiety.

Social anxiety disorder keeps you from carrying on with your life. You’ll try to escape scenarios that you think many may watch, observe, or judge you. You may even struggle to comprehend why others find it easier to cope and handle the crowd so easily.

The moment you start avoiding social events, or social interactions, that’s when it starts affecting your relationship with other people and how you see yourself.

It can likewise lead to low self-confidence, negative thoughts, despair, inability to concentrate well, poor social skills, and significant distress.

Social Anxiety Disorder vs. Shyness: How these two differ?

Many people are still confused with the distinction and difference between social anxiety and shyness. Oftentimes, people misuse these words that merely add to the stigma and attention as to why we need to emphasize and understand its concept.

Although both shyness and social anxiety disorder share similar characteristics, they are different in so many ways.

The sad reality is that Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is frequently overlooked as just shyness- the reason why many individuals do not seek help from experts, hence the massive misunderstanding of the said mental health condition.

We will discuss and explain the clear difference between Social Anxiety Disorder vs. Shyness.

Shyness

Shyness is considered a personality characteristic. Shy individuals don’t care for the spotlight or being at the center of attention, yet social circumstances don’t cause them critical and progressing anxiety and that those can be survived.

Shyness is viewed as an ordinary aspect of the character that combines the experience of social anxiety and inhibited conduct but is not destructive and distressful. Shyness is the anxiety, hindrance, hesitance, or a blend of these in social and relational concerns and apprehension or anxiety about what others’ perceived about you.

As a matter of fact, shy individuals may see this condition positively, while individuals with social anxiety disorder would not depict their condition decidedly.

A person with SAD may even find it hard to fall in line, talk to strangers, go out to parties, use a public restroom, and utilize public transportation.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, otherwise called social phobia, is one of the most widely recognized and overlooked mental disorders.

Social anxiety disorder generally occurs around 13 years old. It tends to be linked or aftermath from past experiences filled with bullying, teasing, and or abuse. Shy children are bound to turn out to be socially anxious as they grow old.

Social Anxiety Disorder is known as significant distress, embarrassment, fear, in social-performance related scenarios to a point where the person who manifests SAD escape or avoid these situations, leading to an increased level of anxiety.

Individuals with social anxiety disorder don’t simply feel apprehensive before a performance or a speech. They may stress over it for quite a long time and may even stretch for months in advance, leading to restlessness, severe sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and more.

What’s more dreadful about this is that the symptoms do not simply go away, rather it gets even worse as time or the situation goes by. The person with SAD may realize that their fear does not make any sense but is incapable of controlling them.

The key factors that an individual who shows Social Anxiety Disorder fears that they are being judged by others in social circumstances, being humiliated or embarrassed.

Takeaways

People with clinical manifestations of social anxiety, instead of shyness, will, in general, show more noticeable adverse effects on relationships, school, or work performance.

If you perceive that you or your loved ones’ shyness may really be a Social Anxiety Disorder, it is imperative to seek help and make an appointment with a Clinical Psychologist for you to be psychologically evaluated properly.

Neglecting the symptoms untreated over a significant amount of time can exacerbate your anxiety and prompt serious mental health conditions such as Depression and Substance Abuse Disorder.

The rightful and adequate treatment, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and correct medication, helps get through and cope with Social Anxiety Disorder.

You can also engage in support groups, as individuals with Social Anxiety can practice conversations with others with the same condition in a safe, directed climate unafraid of judgment. Together they can share sentiments and strategies for combating the condition.

About Admin

Nicole T. Conquilla is a 21-year old registered Psychometrician in the Philippines. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Psychology who is a strong mental health advocate and encourages people to discuss, help, and support one another to cope and get through their mental health problems.

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