The Mayo Clinic calls social anxiety a chronic mental health illness and says “It’s normal to feel nervous in some social situations. For example, going on a date or giving a presentation may cause that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. But in social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions cause significant anxiety, fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because you fear being scrutinized or judged by others.” Psychotherapy and medications could minimize the symptoms.
Prevalence of Social Anxiety
- 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety or around seven percent of the population. Other statistics to consider:
- Anxiety affects about 8 percent of females, and six percent of males.
- Around 9 percent of adults aged 18-29 suffer from anxiety; 8.7 percent for adults aged 30-44; 6.8 percent for adults aged 45-59; and 3.1 percent for adults aged 60 and older.
- Of female children, 11.2 percent suffer from anxiety; for males, seven percent.
- For children aged 13-14, 7.7 percent; aged 15-16, 9.7 percent; aged 17-18, 10.1 percent.
- Each of these statistics proves that social anxiety and other anxiety disorders can’t be ignored.
What Are The Symptoms of Social Anxiety?
Research has shown that symptoms related to social anxiety can be treated through alternative therapies, including medication such as ketamine, but there are no guarantees that these or traditional methods like psychotherapy, clinical trials, or anti-depressants, will work. Different anxiety disorders react to different treatment, but the key is to identify possible symptoms such as:
- Fear of situations which may result in judgment
- Worrying about humiliating or embarrassing yourself
- Extreme fear of talking or interacting with strangers
- Worry that others will see that you appear anxious
- Experiencing anxiety in expectation of a dreaded event or activity
- Suffering a social event with extreme nervousness or fear
- Randomly blushing
- You experience a fast heartbeat
- You sweat or tremble without cause
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Participating in social events or parties
- Going to school or work
- Starting conversations with people you do or don’t know
- Unexpected eye contact
- Going on a date
- Entering a room after people are already sitting
- Waiting in the return line at a store
- Eating in the company of others
- Using a public bathroom
What Causes of Social Anxiety
- Inherited traits. Anxiety disorders sometimes run in families. Still, it isn’t completely clear how much of this is caused by genetics and how much is the result of learned behavior.
- The design of the human brain. A structure in our brain named the amygdala could play a role in regulating the fear response. If you have an overexcited amygdala you may have an intensified fear response, resulting in heightened anxiety in social settings.
- Environmental factors. Social anxiety disorder could be an acquired behavior — certain people could develop the condition following an embarrassing or unfriendly social event. Also, there could be a link between parents and social anxiety disorder that either is extra limiting or domineering of their children or pattern anxious behavior in social settings.
What Are The Risk Factor of Developing Social Anxiety?
Genetics or biology. A person is more apt to develop social anxiety if biological parents or siblings suffer the condition.
Bad experiences may be related to social anxiety disorder: Bullying, rejection, teasing, humiliation or ridicule, family conflict, trauma, or abuse.
People who are timid, shy, withdrawn, or reserved when facing new people or situations may be at greater risk.
New work or social pressures. Social anxiety symptoms usually start in the teen years, but giving a public speech, greeting new people, or giving a work presentation may prompt first-time symptoms.
A physical trait or condition that attracts attention. For example, problems with speech, facial deformity, or shakes because of Parkinson’s disease can boost feelings of self-consciousness and might cause social anxiety disorder in certain people.
What Complications Can Social Anxiety Cause?
Social anxiety disorder can control your life if left untreated. Anxieties can affect school, employment, relationships, or joys of life. A social anxiety disorder may cause:
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Lack of confidence
- Talking poorly about yourself
- Overly sensitive to criticism
- Undeveloped social skills
- Isolation and troubled social relations
- Poor academic and employment history
- Substance abuse
- Suicide attempts or suicide
- Other anxiety disorders, especially substance abuse and major depressive disorder often happen with social anxiety.
Can Social Anxiety Be Prevented?
Preventing social anxiety may be achieved by recognizing the symptoms and taking steps to minimize them. Here are some tips that may help.
- Get help early. Talk to a doctor and ask about the benefits of medicine such as ketamine for social anxiety treatment or anti-depressants.
- Keep track of your thoughts in a journal.
- Learn to prioritize what’s going on in your life, by using a paper calendar or smartphone app.
- Avoid unhealthy substances like drugs and alcohol and reduce the consumption of caffeine or tobacco. If you can’t quit food or beverages that are bad for you, talk to a doctor or registered nutritionist.
Can Ketamine Help With Your Anxiety?
If you are interested in learning more about how Ketamine Infusions for Social Anxiety can help you, contact New Montana Health today and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have and schedule your consultation.