Those with social anxiety disorder can experience an intense drop in quality of life that might even lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation. For instance, some may decline to go out to dinner with friends because they fear that they’ll be judged for the way they eat or drink.
People with social phobia may also miss out on opportunities because of their fear. They might avoid job interviews or avoid joining school clubs and organizations where they may have been very successful and at home otherwise.
Everyday tasks can also become agonizing. Talking on the phone can induce a lot of fear and anxiety, while some might even be afraid to walk down the street because they worry people will judge the way they walk.
Social anxiety disorder can be successfully treated through a number of different methods. One of the best remedies is social anxiety therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT can help guide you through different ways of thinking about social situations, as well as improved ways of reacting to those situations when they arise. It can help lessen anxiety and fear when faced with social interaction.
Medications are also effective for treating the anxiety and depression that are often associated with social phobia. Sertraline (Zoloft) is just one example of an antidepressant that can be used to treat social anxiety disorder.
Self-care techniques can also be helpful for those who struggle with social anxiety. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or yoga can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress, both before, during, or after a social situation.
Finally, social anxiety is linked to insomnia, or trouble sleeping. With that in mind, practicing proper sleep hygiene may be able to help improve the symptoms of social phobia, especially if you know you’ll encounter a big social event in the coming days.