As a social being, humans try to maintain their relationship by interacting with each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Do we always understand the true situation of a person’s mind in this inevitable social interaction? When a person has lost his self and confidence in his own skill and ability, he is prepared to worry and anxiety. In his mind, the intrinsic fear, shame, and embarrassment became overly active. As a result, he becomes afraid of social situations. Slowly, it is made up of social anxiety disorder in him. The American Psychological Association published the signs for Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia for diagnosis in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mentor Disorder (DSM-5).
- In one or more social situations, there is a significant amount of fear or anxiety seen in the person that others are watching him or evaluating / examining him. For example, social interaction (such as: conversation, discussion with strangers), observation (while feeding and drinking time), while performing tasks in front of others (while giving a speech).
- Note: For children, this must be done while contacting their classmates and it is not just for adults.
- He is afraid that how he will act or if the symptoms of his concern manifest, he will be negatively evaluated (for example he will be compared to others, or he will be ashamed, so that he will be rejected by others and will lose his respect).
- There is almost always fear and anxiety in social situations.
- Note: Children cry out of this fear and anxiety, they get angry for a short time, feeling severely fractured, frightened, contracted / confused in social situations.
- They avoid situations where there is a chance of having uncomfortable and intense fear and anxiety. These fears and anxiety are more than the actual social situation and the scary emotions that are created in the socio-cultural context.
- This fear, anxiety and avoidance last long, usually lasting for 6 months or more.
- Due to these fears, anxieties and avoidance, it clinically significantly interrupts or creates problems in its social, professional and other important practical work-constraints.
- This fear, anxiety, and tendency to avoid is not due to any physical reactions due to the use of substance (drug abuse, medicine) or not for any other physical illness.
- It is better nor to define this fear, anxiety and avoidance by any other mental disorder. Such as Panic Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder or autism spectrum disorder.
- If there is any other physical cause (such as Parkinson’s disease, obsession, burns or damage due to accident), the additional fear and anxiety created in those cases is not related to the Social Anxiety Disorder.
Social anxiety sufferers are not sufficiently assertive. They accept the loyalty of others in an additional amount or accept the opinion of others unwittingly to avoid the problem. They take extra precautions during any conversation. They do the same type of gesture, do not speak properly and speak very softly also. They get shy easily so that they withdraw themselves from the social environment and they escape from open discussions. They spend hours and hours at home. The boys usually marry late and spend more time with the family. On the other hand, the girls who wanted to work outside happened to be in the house and managed to live like mothers due to this problem.
In the United States, this disorder begins at an average age of 13 years old and for 75% it starts from 8 to 14 years. In American and European studies, it was found that they used to feel shy in the social environment in childhood. Nevertheless, it can not be said that the negative experiences of childhood are the cause of this disease but they act as a risk element. This disorder also may start from childhood. The first start is rarely seen at adulthood but it can happen while playing a new social role (for example, marrying someone from different social classes, promoting jobs). Genetic influences and genetic and environmental interactions can also influence this; For example, children whose parents are socially concerned can imitate them.
Social skills and competencies are needed for social communication. People achieve it at different stages of self-development. Proper psychological treatment and appropriate medicine have been playing an important role to restore the confidence among these anxious people. The awareness, sympathy and support of people of all levels including parents, guardians, teachers, can help them to adapt with this normal world.