Anxiety

Brain Facts

Posted by Safe In4 Hub

Specific and Generalized Social Anxieties

A specific social anxiety would be the fear of speaking in front of groups (only), whereas people with generalized social anxiety are anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all social situations.

It is much more common for people with social anxiety to have a generalized type of this disorder. When anticipatory anxiety, worry, indecision, depression, embarrassment, feelings of inferiority, and self-blame are involved across most life situations, a generalized form of social anxiety is at work.

People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:

- Being introduced to other people
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched while doing something
- Meeting people in authority ("important people")
- Most social encounters, especially with strangers
- Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something
- Interpersonal relationships, whether friendships or romantic

This list is certainly not a complete list of symptoms -- other feelings have been associated with social anxiety as well.

The physiological manifestations that accompany social anxiety may include intense fear, racing heart, turning red or blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling (fear of picking up a glass of water or using utensils to eat), swallowing with difficulty, and muscle twitches, particularly around the face and neck.

Constant, intense anxiety that does not go away is the most common feature.

People with social anxiety disorder know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make rational (i.e., cognitive) sense. Nevertheless, "knowing" something is not the same thing as "believing" and "feeling" something.

Thus, for people with social anxiety, thoughts and feelings of anxiety persist and show no signs of going away -- despite the fact that socially-anxious people "face their fears" every day of their lives.

Only the appropriate treatment works to alleviate social anxiety disorder, the largest anxiety disorder, and the one that few people know anything about.

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