Social anxiety is a pretty much self-explanatory term: it refers to a phobia of society or social interactions; a fear or discomfort in social interactions involving the concern with being judged by the others. It is basically an ego-driven anxiety where the afflicted is constantly wondering what others think of him or her. People affected by social anxiety are afraid they will be rejected, criticized or made to feel embarrassed. These people are usually insecure and feel they are good enough to mingle with their peers. Of course, social anxiety can manifest itself more or less severely, with worst situations when the afflicted person will altogether refuse to meet any people or any other people than a few close friends or family.
In less severe cases, social anxiety will cause fear in social situations and will believe they will be automatically rejected by others. As mentioned above, social anxiety can take chronic forms of psychopathology, like social anxiety disorder, otherwise known as social phobia. This will, of course, lead to a reduced quality of life and can only be treated professionally, by therapists, psychologists or within support groups.
There are many factors which can lead to social anxiety, either or physical or mental nature. For example, physical appearance, like the color of skin, weight, certain imperfections or a handicap or invalidity can make the affected person feel too different to be accepted. Then again, certain traumas, harsh experiences – like an accident, or going to a war and returning to society –, past or continuous abuse can also make a person feel unfit, or incomplete and thus unworthy of social acceptance.
Today, social anxiety is an ever-growing concern and affliction, because our fast-moving societies require stronger, more focused, harder-working citizens, and thus the levels of stress are increased.
Depression is often found in “collaboration” with anxiety disorders and substance abuse can lead to them as well. Indeed, most if not all of us can relate to one form or another of social anxiety and we’ve all had moments of intense social pressure, but for those truly affected by anxiety disorders these feelings are so intense that they are frozen, blocked in inaction and it is mostly impossible for them to overcome these conditions without other people’s help.
Social anxiety can also lead to insomnia, which in turn can lead to more serious health problems. Insomnia should never be taken lightly and it should be treated before it gets the chance to evolve and end up to a chronical point. Nowadays, there are many natural insomnia remedies such as the alteril sleep aid. This is an all natural insomnia treatment which includes some sleep inducing capsules, some relaxing herbal teas and a meditation CD. Unlike common sedatives, the alteril sleep aid doesn’t have any side effects.
An affliction that parents must be wary of is developmental social anxiety, which occurs in the early stages of childhood and, though in most cases it is something that children grow out of, in some cases in worsens and can be difficult to treat later on.