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Causes Of and Treatments For Social Anxiety in Young Adults

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 32% of young adults have some type of anxiety disorder, with 8.3% of those dealing with severe impairment due to anxiety. There are a number of causes of anxiety disorder in young adults as well as a range of treatment options.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

There are numerous signs and symptoms that a young adult may be suffering from social anxiety disorder. Emotionally, they may feel excessively self-conscious, worry intensely about upcoming social situations, or have an extreme fear of being watched by other people. They may also worry they’ll embarrass themselves or feel that others will notice their nervousness.

Physical signs are common as well. Someone dealing with social anxiety disorder may blush, feel short of breath, or feel nauseous. They may also tremble, have a racing heart, feel dizzy, or have hot flashes. When combined, these symptoms often feel overwhelming and lead the person to avoid social situations, hide in the background of the ones they do attend, or not go to events without bringing a trusted friend.

Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder

There is no singular cause of social anxiety disorder. Instead, it’s often created by a complex combination of causes. Typically, it starts during adolescence or teenage years and may last well into adulthood. The causes may be due to genetics, such as anxiety running in families. It may also come to be after stressful or traumatic events in life, such as abuse or prolonged illness. Parenting style may play a part as well. Overprotective parents are more likely to have socially anxious children. Even something that a child has no solid memory of, such as birth trauma, can lead to social anxiety.

Treatment For Social Anxiety Disorder

There is a wide variety of treatment options for social anxiety disorder. Because many involve medical care, it’s a good idea to first ensure you have the right healthcare policy from an agency that is well-versed in insurtech. Once insured, you can explore healthcare options.

Some people who have social anxiety disorder undergo psychotherapy treatment. This may include talk therapy sessions based on CBT therapy or interpersonal therapy. There may also be sessions of psychodynamic therapy or family therapy. Some patients even undergo exposure therapy by working on facing their anxious fears and getting through them.

Medications may also help. Typically, antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, or Effexor can help with the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. There are also medications made specifically for anxiety, including Xanax and Klonopin. Beta-blockers may also be helpful for patients who have physical symptoms, as they block the effects of tremors, sweating, or rapid heartbeat.

Tips For Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder

One of the best ways that you can begin to overcome your social anxiety is to increase your interaction at social gatherings. You can do this gradually and do not need to automatically insert yourself into the center of attention. This means attending events, even if you don’t talk to anyone. When you feel more comfortable going to events, try talking to a new person or two until you feel safe in new environments. This doesn’t mean that you need to be going out every night, though. Be sure to take time for yourself to relax between events and to let your social battery recharge.

Avoid relying on alcohol when you do go out. Alcohol and non-prescription drugs may help you be more open in the moment, but the reduction in anxiety is short-term. Furthermore, alcohol and other substances may even make the anxiety worse or make you feel guilty for having used them. Plus, there’s always the fear that addiction could develop.

Social anxiety can affect anyone at any time. By understanding why it may develop and what you can do to combat it, you can be back on your way to being the social butterfly you used to be.

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