Both medication and therapy have been shown effective in treating social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety that occurs in all situations responds best to a combination of medication and therapy, while therapy alone is often sufficient for people with anxiety specific to one type of performance or social situation.
Social anxiety disorder is treatable. Without treatment, however, it can be debilitating.
7 Tips for Living With Social Anxiety
- Control Your Breathing.
- Try Exercise or Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
- Start Small.
- Take the Focus Off Yourself.
- Talk Back to Negative Thoughts.
- Use Your Senses.
Family history. You’re more likely to develop social anxiety disorder if your biological parents or siblings have the condition. Negative experiences. Children who experience teasing, bullying, rejection, ridicule or humiliation may be more prone to social anxiety disorder.
Environmental Influences and Stressful Life Experiences as a Cause of Social Anxiety. Stressful life events and trauma during childhood can influence the development of social anxiety problems. Some of the exposures known to have predictive value for severe social anxiety include: Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
- excessive sweating.
- trembling or shaking.
- difficulty speaking.
- dizziness or lightheadedness.
- rapid heart rate.
Does anxiety get worse with age? Anxiety disorders don’t necessarily get worse with age, but the number of people suffering from anxiety changes across the lifespan. Anxiety becomes more common with older age and is most common among middle-aged adults.
Studies have found that antidepressants — particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac — help relieve social phobia. Through cognitive behavioral therapy (a form of psychotherapy) people learn to change negative thoughts and behaviors that feed the phobia, and they learn social skills.
Though several types of medications are available, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often the first type of drug tried for persistent symptoms of social anxiety. Your health care provider may prescribe paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft).
Genetic. The genetic component of social anxiety disorder is also known as the “heritability” of the disorder. Although heritability rates can vary a great deal in studies, it has been estimated at around 30 to 40 percent, meaning that roughly one-third of the underlying causes of SAD comes from your genetics.
Although anxiety and fear in social settings are common, you may feel that you’re alone or that your situation is hopeless. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Treatment can help you overcome your phobia. You can start with home remedies such as exercise and deep breathing.
Social anxiety disorder typically starts in childhood or adolescence. Among individuals who seek treatment as adults the median age of onset is in the early to mid-teens with most people having developed the condition before they reach their 20s.
(2017) noted that both parents contribute to social anxiety in different ways. The authors noted that maternal overprotection can increase social anxiety in adolescents, whereas social anxiety can be reduced by paternal emotional warmth.
Repeated exposure to overly harsh and critical parenting may condition children to overreact to their mistakes, thereby increasing risk for anxiety disorders.