Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

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Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia) is the third largest mental health care problem in the world. Latest government epidemiological data show social phobia affects over 7% of the population at any given time. The lifetime prevalence rate (i.e., the chances of developing social anxiety disorder at any time during the lifespan) stands at above 13%. Definition: Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated by other people. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem. Perceptions: People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested. People with social anxiety want to be "normal" socially, they want to make friends and they want to be involved and engaged in social interactions. Having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do the things they want, however. Triggering Symptoms: People with social anxiety usually experience significant distress in the following situations: Being introduced to other people Being teased or criticized Being the center of attention Social situations where the person exhibits excessive self-consciousness Being watched or observed while doing something Having to say something in a formal, public situation Meeting people in authority ("important people/authority figures") Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations ("I don't ... ... middle of paper ... ... hospital emergency rooms after an anxiety problem. People with panic disorder many times go to hospital emergency rooms, because they feel there is something medically and physically wrong with them. High rates of alcoholism and other substance abuse, family difficulties and problems, lack of personal relationships, and difficulty in obtaining and continuing with employment are among the everyday problems experienced by many people with social anxiety disorder. Lack of professional and knowledgeable therapists is the biggest and most relevant problem to overcoming social anxiety. While we know it can be done, and a vast amount of clinical and research evidence supports this, overcoming social anxiety is difficult because of the scarcity of treatment options for people with this persistent anxiety disorder.

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