Social Anxiety Disorder is Different than Shyness

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Many of us had a stage in their lives when they were shy. Some will always be like this. While it might be considered as disadvantage, it's common and not surprising. But what if we're so embarrassed around other people that we start to avoid them, being in public makes us nauseous, and we have tremendous difficulty with even buying food in stone? What's more, it makes us feel worthless and totally destroys our social life... It's not a simple shyness anymore, even if many people would classify it as such. This problem, still not known very well, is called Social Anxiety Disorder. Hippocrates was apparently first human to notice symptoms of social anxiety, which was named social phobia for the first time in around 1900. It wasn't really known until 1985, when psychiatrist Michael Liebowitz and clinical psychologist Richard Heimberg done a research on this topic and made it more widely recognized. Moreover, it's actually world's third biggest mental problem - as The Kim Foundation claims, there are about 40 million people around 18 years old having this disorder. Psychologists researching causes of this phenomena. I am writing about social anxiety disorder, because I am trying to show you how it can change someone and why it's extremely difficult to live with it in order to explain how we can understand person suffering it, help him or her or recognize this disorder, so that we will know more about human psychology.
That being said, it may be helpful to start with describing the most common symptoms to know how to recognize social anxiety disorder. These are divided into three categories: "cognitive symptoms (what do you think), physical symptoms (what do you feel) and behavioural symptoms (what you do)" (Cuncic 1). First group...

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... of judgment. And of course, they always the biggest critics of themselves – we notice even our smallest mistakes and hate ourselves for them.

10. Kearney Christopher, “Social Anxiety and Social Phobia in Youth” Springer Science+Business
Media, 2005.
This book studies closely all factors of social phobia in youth. One of the earliest point is that introverts are much more likely to have SAD than extraverts. Very interesting observation is that every patient has something called behavioral inhibition. It's used to describe fear, avoidance, timidity when in contact with new things or people and way of acting towards them. Most “prevalent social fears included: speaking before others or taking tests, speaking in public, conversing with others, eating or drinking in public” (Kearney, 24) More girls than boys confessed to having these sorts of fears.

Patrycja Kosińska
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