Social anxiety and its symptoms are often seriously pigeonholed as to what they may look like. I am an extrovert who exhibits social anxiety symptoms! I love being around people, but it’s also something that I must bring myself to do. It’s such a confusing beast! What are the symptoms of social anxiety? What is the common social anxiety treatment options? No need to start sweating. We just need to cover our basics first with this anxiety quiz! No worries, I promise it will be painless!
Social anxiety Examples and tales from the trenches
1. I bring my daughter to a great many doctor’s appointments. She is beautiful, amazing, terminally ill, and transgender. Due to serious judgment from both the community we live in and the medical community whom have shown serious contempt for our daughter, I now have social anxiety and fear of going beyond surface conversations with new people and whenever I may be judged.
2. Raising a terminally ill child gives you a unique perspective on life. That perspective is both a blessing and a curse. You must work hard to remember that your life is not the ruler to measure the world’s hurt against. This leads to fear of offending nearly everyone you meet by saying the wrong thing. I vowed to never say things like, “Look, breaking your arm really isn’t a big deal. Your child will heal.” To them it IS a big deal. I won’t measure that to the fact that compared to my child dying, it could be viewed as NOT a big deal. The fear of saying the wrong thing has left me socially awkward and having social anxiety.
3. That fear of offending leads to another symptom of social anxiety, completely over analyzing everything you said to those around you and potential ways in which you might have said something all wrong. It’s easy to have big opinions when you are in shoes like ours.
4. My secret fear is that others will realize that I am experiencing social anxiety symptoms. It took over an hour to hit publish on this post. Publicly outing yourself is a very hard thing to do!
Physical Social anxiety symptoms:
- Muscle tension
- Upset stomach/diarrhea
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Panic attacks
- Clammy hands
- Dry mouth
Social anxiety treatment
- Therapy, find a good one that understands you and your language. A good therapist can help you work through your social anxiety disorder and find the best coping skills.
- Better living through chemistry, anxiety and/or depression meds to help ease the stress.
- Exercise and eat well. Ok, that’s what the experts say. I’m not sure if that means I should be eating a salad while feeling nausea and on the toilet while my stomach goes haywire. My practical suggestion, start adding sleep a little more at a time. Therefore, try to slowly reduce anxiety eating. It will only provide temporary relief.
- Avoid caffeine. Dear heavens, I have FOUR children. Caffeine should be something I may have an IV drip for! Alas, limiting it makes sense as it raises your heart rate. In the same way a racing heart is a symptom of anxiety, caffeine is too and will only worsen that.
- Prepare for social situations in which you know will make you uncomfortable. In my world that means having standard tag lines memorized. For example, when people ask how I am doing, I respond with a standard, “We are taking things day by day.” If you think things through ahead of time, it makes it easier when you are on the spot.