When looking back on how students, children, and friends act in public situations, a person with social anxiety can come across as being shy, quiet, withdrawn, unfriendly, nervous, and even disinterested. During these situations, the intent of this person is actually to try their hardest to make friends, be included, and be involved in social interactions. This is where the paradox is presented and it is all due to the fear and anxiety that is holding them back from achieving this. It may sound simple to just try to force yourself to speak up in a social situation and make the first step in talking to someone no matter how hard it may be, but when you have a debilitating fear of this it can seem like the end of the world. They believe that if they stay in the shadows away from the eyes of others it would just be easier for them, but this only sets them further back in making progress.
There are many feelings that accompany social anxiety they include but are not limited to: nervousness, high levels of fear, racing heart, sweating, blushing, dry throat, and twitches. The most common and consistent symptom is having intense fear and anxiety. When exposed to certain situations where the person feels uncomfortable or under immense pressure, these trigger symptoms will induce some of these feelings listed above. A wide majority of these trigger symptoms or situations involve having that person being noticed by someone else or a group of people. Such as being called on in class and having to answer in front of everyone, having to present something in front of people, and being the center of attention. While this list can continue, it is also important to acknowledge that with all symptoms and emotions being listed is not specific to an individual. Each person who suffers from social anxiety has unique feelings, fears, and reactions. This attests to the claim that direct cognitive-behavioral therapy is the best solution for this, talking all those fears out with someone they trust and work on ways to slowly overcome them are proven to be the most beneficial for a patient.
Social anxiety is one of the five main major anxiety disorders and is often confused with panic disorder. Those who suffer from social anxiety do not experience panic attacks, they may experience anxiety attacks of which they are aware that it is fear and anxiety they are experiencing and not a medical problem. Substance abuse, family difficulties, lack of personal relationships, and difficulty in maintaining employment are some of the everyday problems that people with social anxiety disorder are experiencing.
Many of you may also be wondering how this topic of ‘social anxiety’ is being used to apply to the students of BASIS for my project, but when a student is attending school, pressures come from three main sources and can affect a student often without them realizing. Each of the three sources is unique and can affect a child uniquely whether or not they have social anxiety disorder, I will go through them each individually in my next few posts.