How Distressing is Social Phobia?

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Social Phobia or SAD is a kind of anxiety disorder characterized by extreme fear, anxiety, or distress when exposed to a social gathering or when doing something before a group of individuals.

Public speaking is the most frequent situation that exposes the individual’s social fears. An individual suffering from this disorder develops significant anxiety symptoms such as sweating, fast heart beat, tremulousness, and restlessness when making a presentation or giving a minor talk. Even small corporate or committee meetings can cause grave distress.

Urinating in public washrooms, eating in fast food restaurants, writing in front of people or signing documents in a bank can also trigger feelings of fear and distress. Individuals with this illness are obsessed with being embarrassed or criticized by others. Some patients believe that people are so focused on them and are just waiting for blunders to happen.

So Social Phobia can be devastating to a lot of patients and their families. Because of their problems in a social milieu, a number of them have eventually lost their jobs, friends, and spouses. It’s an illness that has wrought havoc to many. It’s thus vital that Social Phobia should be recognized and treated without delay.

Is there any treatment for this illness?
Fortunately, some newer antidepressants such as paroxetine and venlafaxine are known to work and have caused significant aid to a lot of individuals. However, these medications do not work straight away. They have to be taken daily for a couple weeks to see any benefit. Additionally, the medications’ maximum impact may occur within 6-8 weeks or more. To maintain stability after feeling”normal,” patients may have to take the medication for several weeks to a couple years.

In addition to medications, cognitive-behavioral intervention also functions nicely. By restructuring the individual’s cognition, patients eventually learn how to face social situations without fear and uncertainty.