What is social phobia? It is a behavioral disorder, a response of anxiety, which affects the development of a satisfactory social life.
Is social phobia disease?
Social phobia is a behavioral disorder characterized by avoidance of social interactions, is a diagnostic entity but is not a disease.
Social phobia like any other phobia is an anxiety response, a mechanism developed to avoid panic suffering phobic person to a situation in as great danger. When exposed to a social situation, it generates fear an anxiety attack, and the fear of suffering is the main reason why the person can not face their fears this attack.
Social phobia can be classified into two types:
- Generalized: Fears can come from any social situation, except those in which the phobic subject feels “safe” (i.e. stroll through a busy place, go into a cinema ….)
- Specific: Fear always triggers to a particular situation.
Statistical data of social phobia
Data collected from recent studies suggest that social phobia affects 1.5% to 3.5% of the general population and occurs with equal probability in men and women.
The age at which begins to manifest generalized social phobia usually late adolescence and early adulthood, approximately 15 to 21 years, while specific social phobia tends to appear later years.
Predominate patients with a medium-high socioeconomic level and often turn to seek treatment after between 6 and 20 years suffer from social phobia.
About 35% to 50% of social phobic patients suffering from depression and approximately 20% abused anxiolytics or alcohol consumption (even if they are not addicted)
Causes of social phobia
- Erroneous models social skills: Adults around, parents or relatives but offer a good example of relationship with others, can lead children to have difficulty functioning socially.
- Traumatic or unpleasant experiences: Situations regrettable lived in a social environment.
- Learning dysfunctional values: Influence of parents or caregivers that focus on the obligation to obtain certain results (Personal relationships are dangerous or painful”, “if people do not approve of me is not worth”)
- Learning consequences: The child receives disapproval or punishment to express their feelings and opinions, while timid and submissive behaviors are rewarded.
The origin of the generalized social phobia usually gradual and progressive, yet specific social phobias usually appears in response to a traumatic event.
The therapy’s main objective is to help the phobic patient develop effective and successful social life, although this will depend on the severity of your social phobia.
Drugs such as antidepressants, anxiolytics and help relieve symptoms associated with anxiety, however behavioral treatment provides more lasting benefits.
Cognitive behavioral therapy works on the thoughts that cause irrational fear, while helping them understand and replacing these thoughts with more positive ones.
Strategies and all measures aimed at improving self-esteem and social skills training are very effective in preventing the onset of this psychological disorder called social phobia.
It is advisable to seek medical specialist or specialist mental health therapist, when the persistent fear comes to affect fundamental aspects of daily life such as work and relationships with others.
The lifestyle is the most important aspect, exercise regularly, maintain adequate meal times and sleep, and avoid caffeine and other stimulants, will help reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks social phobia, irrational isolation.