Every human being once in his/her lifetime experience social awkwardness and it is not odd to experience it. Social anxiety is a general psychological problem, and yet we feel odd to share it because we are conditioned to believe that the problem is associated with being “abnormal”. This social anxiety may happen while you are presenting in a board meeting; reciting a poem in school, talking to strangers at parties.
People who experience it feel as though they are being constantly judged by the people around them. An article by writer and author Arlin Cuncic states that between 2% and 13% of the population is thought to have the problem to a level that it would be considered social anxiety disorder.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder is a disorder in which people face social anxieties to an extent that it starts affecting their daily life activities. It is one of the most common mental disorders. People who face this problem feel as though they are the only ones to be suffering from the problem.
Social Anxiety Disorder is believed to have generated from both environmental and genetic factors. Sometimes it may be just one of them or a combination of the both.
- Genetic factors: It is believed that an imbalance in the neurotransmitter serotonin, a brain chemical which regulates emotions and moods play a role in the development of social anxiety disorder.
- Environmental factors: Experienced bullying as a child, sexual abuse, and overprotective family environment can be some of the environmental factors.
Myths associated with social anxiety disorder:
Myth 1- Social Anxiety is only fear of speaking in public
The fact is that social anxiety is anxiety and fear experienced in any/every social situation like- public speaking events; meeting strangers and interacting with them; going to spaces which mark the presence of a lot of public; disagreeing with someone.
Myth 2- Social Anxiety means that you’re only nervous
The fact is that social anxiety is not just nervousness but a collection of several symptoms like trembling hands, irrational thinking, and sweat.
Myth 3- Social Anxiety is a problem that you just have to live with
Living with social anxiety is not an advice to be given. What if a person’s social anxiety reaches a level where he/she cannot move from his/her home? There are medically proven solutions to this problem. Effective medication and behavioral therapy are highly recommended in cases of social anxiety disorder.
Despite living in the 21st century and being cognizant of human psychology and its growing problems, we associate mental health problems with being “crazy” and a “shame” to the society. If we need to combat psychological problems, we must start educating people and especially children about it. There must be textbook lessons and interactive sessions on mental health for children. If children are cognizant of the problems from a very young age, most of the psychological illness, the world is facing would be easily controlled.
–by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.