Social Anxiety On Sufferers

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Social anxiety disorder (SAD), or social phobia, is one of the most common forms of abnormal psychology that affects “1 in 10 adults” in various degrees of severity (Lawson, 2013). Like many other forms of abnormal psychological disorders, social anxiety affects and disrupts everyday life for sufferers. This report is going to explore the effects of social anxiety on sufferers, how certain behaviours are viewed from different psychological perspectives and the treatment options available for sufferers.

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is where regular daily anxieties become more prominent and difficult for the sufferer to cope with. As the anxieties develop, common tasks that people do every day become increasingly difficult, such as answering a phone, going to the shops and even just leaving the house. This condition is much more than shyness; it is an overwhelming fear of an ordinary activity. These fears eventually can lead to the prevention of the sufferer taking part in these everyday activities. (NHS, 2013. SAUK, 2014).
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
There are many different symptoms of social anxiety disorder, however some are more prominent than others. The symptoms can be categorised into three groups, psychological, physiological and behavioural. Most symptoms stem from the fear of embarrassment and humiliation. Some of the most common fear symptoms are:
 Social gatherings with new people
 Conversations in groups of people and starting conversations
 Refusal to use a telephone
 Embarrassment eating and drinking with company
 Fear of leaving the house
 Low self-esteem
 Evasiveness of eye contact
 Fear of criticism
 Panic attacks
 Excess sweating
These overpowering fears can lead to ...

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... use of cognitive-behavioural therapy. Unlike the CBT treatment, use of a SSRI are long term solutions to prevent the anxiety, but like CBT, cannot cure it. The SSRI take a few weeks before they start working fully. The primary function of SSRI’s is to increase the uptake of serotonin in the brain. Unfortunately, as with many drugs, there are side effects that come with the SSRI’s which ranges widely from agitation, nausea, stomach upsets and sweating. All patients using this treatment are required to go for regular check-ups with their doctors to see how the drug is affecting them in positive and negative ways. Other arguments opposing the use of drugs to treat social anxiety disorder is that the patient can become addicted and reliant on the medically prescribed drugs, in the same way that alcohol and drugs are used as a short term fix for the anxiety (NHS, 2013).

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