Living with social anxiety disorder can be crippling. The fear of dealing with social situations often leads to avoiding them altogether. The steps in this article were designed to slowly develop an ability to deal with the social situations that are critical to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder
Some signs of social anxiety disorder are incredibly obvious while others tend to hide themselves until the person how has them thinks they are losing their mind. Some of the signs of Social Anxiety Disorder are listed below.
- Feelings of people staring. People with SAD tend to feel like everyone in a room is staring at them as they walk in.
- Panic attacks in social situations.
- Tendency to isolate self.
- Fear of approaching people even when it is necessary.
- Unreasonable amounts of anxiety when standing in line.
- Thoughts of being “different” from other people.
- Fear of leaving a “comfort zone” which may be anything from a room to the town they live in.
- Unreasonable fear of people.
A person who avoids socialization entirely may become depressed and anxious due to lack of communication with the outside world. This doesn’t have to happen if the proper steps are taken to address social anxieties.
Steps to Combat Social Anxiety Disorder
Lots of people who have social anxiety disorder feel trapped inside their own homes. Their inability to deal with social situations has led to a life of isolation. The steps listed below are meant to combat those feelings.
- Start by going to places that are quiet, have no lines and very limited amounts of people. The library is a good place to start. Try going during the week when most people are at work. This is an especially good plan for people who like to read as they can sit and read a book while still being in a social atmosphere.
- Call a friend and make specific plans to go for a walk or maybe to the park. It’s easier to ease into situations when there is a support system available.
- Consider volunteering somewhere. This is a great boost for the self esteem as well as a way to move back into society. Volunteering also offers a limited amount of control in the situation, which is a major factor in dealing with social anxiety disorder.
- Develop an online network that offers real life optional social gatherings. In this manner, people are able to get to know each other a bit so that when they meet in real life there is already a sort of comfort level.
- Join a small existing group that has a common interest. Groups like pottery groups, reading circles, automotive groups and social anxiety groups themselves provide the perfect format for those dealing with social anxiety disorder because they share common interests and usually meet in a home or other area specific to the needs of the group. This means that the only people that are present are the ones who share the common interest.Keep in mind that those with social anxiety disorder often feel an inability to breathe and may even “freeze up” when confronted with social situations. This often stems from a lack of control in the given situations. This is what makes things like standing in line almost physically painful for those with social anxiety. It’s important for them to remember that however painful the situation may be, they will live through it.