Slide 2: Introduction
- Social anxiety or social phobia is one of the most common types of mental disorders.
- It is classified as the third most prevalent psychological disorder in USA, next to depression and alcoholism.
- About 7% of the population in USA is plagued by some form of social phobia.
Slide 3: Overview of Social Anxiety Disorder
What is social anxiety?
- Irrational persistent fear of being judged negatively by others
- Self-consciousness while doing common things in front of others.
- Characterized by increased palpitations, feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem, embarrassment and inferiority complex.
Types of social anxiety
Slide 4: Types of Social Anxiety
- Generalized social anxiety is the most severe form of social phobia as patients exhibit anxiety in all kinds of social situations, be that social events, gatherings and giving performance in schools or office.
- Individuals suffering from non-generalized social phobia exhibit anxiety in one or a few specific social situations.
Slide 5: Symptoms
- Persistent fear of being watched and judged negatively by others.
- Self-consciousness during social interaction.
- Increased blood pressure and palpitations in anticipation of unexpected social situations.
- Reviewing of actions and feelings of embarrassment for behaving unsatisfactorily in front of others.
- Physiological symptoms of blushing, nausea, sweating, trembling, stammering, nervousness and panic attack.
- Avoiding eye contact while talking to others.
Slide 6: Causes
- Hereditary – if an identical twin shows symptoms of social phobia, the other twin will also exhibit the same signs.
- Researchers observe that some children are born shy and introvert, and growing into adolescence, these children show signs of social anxiety.
Chemical Imbalance in the brain
- Dysregulation and dysfunction of the three major neurotransmitters of the brain - serotonin, norepinephrine and gamma aminobutyric acid, which control anxiety and arousal of emotions, lead to the development of social anxiety.
Slide 7: Causes.Contd.
- The amygdala, located in the limbic part of the brain, becomes hyperactive in patients when they come across anxiety arousing situations.
- Negative life experiences like bullying, teasing, ridicule, rejection, humiliation, emotional and sexual abuse and family conflicts contribute to the development of social anxiety disorder.
Slide 8: Effects
- Sufferers of social phobia due to low self-esteem and self-doubt perform poorly schools, colleges and office.
- Their professional careers suffer a setback.
- In order to cope up with anxiety at social events, they take to alcohol and drug abuse.
Slide 9: Treatment
The treatment procedure consists of psychotherapy and medication or a combination of both.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a useful psychotherapy for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.
- It makes patients realize about their own negative thoughts that hinder their social interaction.
- This therapy teaches the patients to think, behave and react to situations in a less stressful way.
Slide 10: Treatment.contd.
- Anti-depressants like Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Sarafem and Prozac are the most common type of medications prescribed.
- Anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines are also prescribed for short term use.
- Beta blockers are prescribed for controlling anxiety in a particular situation like while giving a presentation or a speech.