5 Quick & Interesting Social Anxiety Facts That You Should Know
“I’m not anti-social. I’m just not social.” – Woody Allen
One of the most commonly misunderstood anxiety disorders, social anxiety is a psychological concern that makes people think that they are being judged when they are in a social setting. Many people also mistake this disorder as people just being shy. In this blog, however, we’ll explore such social anxiety facts.
When someone always experiences anxiety when around people, it can become challenging to relax. People with SAD also believe that their problems are their own and that prevents them from seeking the help they need.
Also Read: Loving & Supporting Your Partner With Social Anxiety
If you or someone you know is experiencing social anxiety or have a social anxiety disorder, then this article will help you get an understanding of the various social anxiety disorder facts.
5 Quick & Interesting Social Anxiety Facts
Fact #1: Social Anxiety is NOT the Same as Shyness.
While social anxiety and shyness do have some common symptoms, it is not entirely the same thing. Many people are just shy or are not comfortable with a particular public or social situation, however, people with social anxiety experience anxiety that is not related to any particular social situation. If someone is dealing with social anxiety, they’ll go to great lengths to avoid any social situation.
People who are just shy do not worry constantly or overthink about a social situation for hours, days, or weeks on end. When in a social situation, someone with SAD might have a panic or an anxiety attack or they might freeze up.
It is important to note that shy people might experience social anxiety but people with social anxiety might not be shy, most of the time.
Also Read: Relatable Movies For People With Social Anxiety
Fact #2: Social Anxiety is a Common Anxiety Disorder
Popular to contrary belief, social anxiety disorder is one of the most commonly experienced anxiety disorders. According to the data collected by WHO, social anxiety disorder is a prevalent and disabling anxiety disorder. Another study by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) shows that the causes of social anxiety are mostly about health, relationships, finances, or politics.
Fact #3: Social Anxiety is NOT Just a Fear of Public Speaking.
Social anxiety is not just a fear of public speaking, although, it is one of the aspects among the other social and performance situations. Social anxiety, as mentioned before, can be a disabling condition. It not only affects how people interact in a social setting but can also interfere with a person’s daily life.
People with social anxiety experience anxiety in social situations that can include (but not limited to):
- Public speaking
- Speaking in a meeting
- Meeting new people
- Talking to a stranger or someone with authority
- Going to social events
- Expressing feelings of disagreement
- Being in a crowded room
- Working or performing in front of a group
What triggers anxiety in such a situation is the likelihood of being judged or evaluated. SAD is a disorder that can affect almost every important aspect of someone’s life. Many people with this disorder feel uncomfortable going grocery shopping or even for a haircut. People with social anxiety do not have a healthy social life and fewer friends.
Also Read: Introverts Can Master Public Speaking Too: Here Are The 5 Ways!
Fact #4: Social Anxiety is a Serious Mental Health Condition.
Another myth about social anxiety is that it can cause significant harm to your mental, emotional, and social health. If social anxiety is left undiagnosed and untreated, then it can become chronic and may affect your daily functioning. Social anxiety disorder can cause issues such as:
- Low productivity at work
- Poor relationship with family, social connections, and romantic relationships
- Poor quality of life
- High risk of social isolation and withdrawal
- High risk of suicidal thoughts* and self-harm
People usually believe that having a social anxiety disorder is equal to being nervous in social situations. However, social anxiety not only affects your social wellbeing but also affects your cognitive processing, physical health, behavioral health, and emotional health.
*If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please immediately contact one of these helpline numbers.
Also Read: How to Deal With Social Anxiety at Work?
Fact #5: Social Anxiety is NOT Something You Can Just “get over with”.
Another myth about social anxiety disorders is that it is a condition that people can get over with. People with social anxiety disorder experience extreme anxiety that prevents them from going to work or leave their house in any condition. No one has to live with social anxiety or just “get over it”.
One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to getting help for SAD is that because of the myths, people believe that they can change their behavior only if they simply get out of their comfort zone. People with social anxiety disorder, or any other disorder for that matter, cannot just will themselves to change or “get over it”
It is important to know that there are treatment options available if you’re dealing with social anxiety. No one has to live with a disorder and with the help of effective treatment, you can overcome or learn to manage your social anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder is a serious and real mental health concern that should not be taken lightly. It can affect a person’s ability to function normally and if left undiagnosed or untreated, it can turn into something serious.
Because of the many myths about social anxiety disorder, people are fearful of asking for help. Let’s spread awareness about this commonly misunderstood anxiety disorder and remove the stigma surrounding it.
There are online therapy resources where you can ask for help from professional and trained counselors. With the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications, you can overcome social anxiety disorder.
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