Today’s post is focusing one of the most commonly occurring mental disorders in modern societies… one that is actually easily treatable, if only the affected people seek help. I’m talking of course about anxiety disorders – social anxiety disorder in particular.
I’ll explain how you can assess your anxiety levels by considering a few simple questions, and towards the end I’ll show you links to some automated anxiety tests. But make sure to read through this article first, so you have a clearer understanding of this disorder that disrupts the lives of millions across the modern world.
What is social anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is a normal part of life, and it’s indeed a survival mechanism; it’s meant to keep you on your toes, and compel you to surpass your limitations. However, for many people, anxiety and stress escalate to such intensities that affected individuals usually feel absolutely paralyzed and unable to cope with all the pressure.
There are actually various types of anxiety disorder (such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, specific phobias and a few others), but for this article we’re focusing on social anxiety disorder in particular, which is the most common of all anxiety disorders.
Disturbing true facts about social phobia:
- Social anxiety is the most common type of anxiety disorder
- Nearly 20 million Americans are diagnosed with this condition each year
- The majority of patients (as many as 75%) are female
- Millions of males with this problem don’t realize they should seek help
- Age of onset is usually during late teens or early twenties
- Most patients endure this sickness for 10 years before seeking treatment
How do you test your social anxiety disorder?
The most distinctive trait of social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is having trouble interacting with other people at a social level. However, just because you’re shy it doesn’t mean you have this problem. According to the standard mental health diagnosis guidelines, there are several other pre-requisites for this diagnosis… 6 in total; if you can relate with more than half of these, you could have social anxiety disorder:
- 1) Feeling anxious just thinking about social interaction
2) Being extremely fearful of being judged or criticized by others
3) Persistently avoiding situations were you *might* feel uncomfortable
4) Increased separation from friends, family and loved ones
5) Being unable to approach, talk or reply to people you don’t know
6) Avoiding going out for fear of being watched by people
Does that sound like something you can relate with? If so, maybe you’re not such a basket case as you possibly imagine, sometimes. Don’t worry, it’s fairly normal for people who suffer from social anxiety do feel that way. However, berating yourself for having this problem is absolutely pointless. It’s not your fault that you have this problem… and most importantly, it’s a problem that can be fixed with relative ease. You don’t have to feel like this anymore:
If your social anxiety disorder test seems positive….
To begin with, you should consider seeing a psychologist, since that’s your best shot of overcoming this problem. Remember, anxiety disorders are the most common psychological conditions, so these professionals are well trained in the management of such problems. Moreover, the success rate for clinical treatment of social phobia is as high as 80% after 3 months of therapist. The most successful anxiety treatment option is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which doesn’t even require the use of anxiety drugs (although in some cases they can be useful).
Can’t afford to see a therapist – or feel uncomfortable with the idea of doing so? No worries. There are various natural anxiety management techniques that you can try for yourself. Simple things such as meditation, increased physical activity, avoiding stimulants, getting a new hobby, learning deep breathing relaxation and desensitization techniques, can be immensely effective in the self-treatment of social anxiety. I won’t go into too many details here, since someone else is doing a better job at this anxiety relief website, and the focus of this post is specifically on a social anxiety disorder test.