WHAT IS IT?
Social phobia is the fear and anxiety of being exposed to social or functional situations, of feeling humiliated, not judged, evaluated and rejected by others, that are avoided or faced with substantial anxiety. These situations are faced with significant anxiety.
Half of the people who present it have suffered a humiliating or violent experience in their childhood.
For this reason, never humiliate your children, and violence will never be an educational method … it only destroys.
It is necessary to change catastrophic thoughts to overcome it, every human being needs to be valued and motivated, thus changing the culture of disqualification.
Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder, in which certain situations or objects make people fear, feel anxiety, and avoid things. Fear and anxiety are disproportionate to the real threat (considering social norms) there are many specific phobias.
HOW MUCH IS THE AVERAGE THAT CAN AFFECT MEN AND WOMEN?
Social phobia affects around 9% of women and 7% of men over a 12-month period, but the prevalence throughout life can reach up to 13%. In men they are more likely than women to have avoidant personality disorder, which can be seen as an anxiety disorder that is severe and persistent enough to affect personality.
Fear and anxiety in people with Social Phobia are manifested because they feel bewildered or humiliated if they do not meet people’s expectations. They often worry that the anxiety will be evident, from sweating, flushing, vomiting, or shaking, or that the ability to hold a train of thought or find the words to express themselves will be lost. Usually, the same activity performed when the person is alone does not cause anxiety.
Social phobia is frequent in those situations in which you have to speak in public, act in a theater or play a musical instrument, other potential situations are eating with others, meeting new people, having a conversation, signing documents in front of witnesses or using public toilets. A more generalized type of social phobia causes anxiety in a variety of social situations.
SOCIAL PHOBIA: Treatment of “What will they say”.
It is part of one of the most affected psychological processes in Social Phobia. The patient speculates too much about the judgments of others and frequently performs “thought reading.” In more extreme cases, social gatherings are avoided. The patient does not suffer so much from social episodes that have occurred, but from episodes that they think “it can happen.”
The cognitive restructuring of other people’s judgments, is applied in these cases in front of “the people who judge” in their mind, their opinions, ideas, values, decisions, etc. Obviously there will always be critics and it is not possible to conform to everyone. But that’s not the problem in social phobia. Such judgments generally do not occur in social situations but “in the mind” of the patient. This way of thinking leads them to feel indecision, guilt, discomfort, anxiety, etc. by effect of the possible judgments of others.
Furthermore, it is simply beyond the control of the patient. As the phrase goes, “whatever you do, they will speak ill of you anyway.” Rather than trying to please, you work on acceptance and exposure to the fact that the approval of others is not so important and concentrating on what you do.
In the treatment of social phobia is a very important part, the restructuring of the judgments of others. that appear in the mind.
The clinical diagnosis is based on the criteria of the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
To meet the DSM-5 Diagnostic criteria, patients sh0w:
- Significant and persistent fear or anxiety over 6 months for one or more social situations in which they can be examined by others.
The fear of implying a negative assessment on the part of others (that they will be humiliated, embarrassed or rejected or that they offend others.) Likewise everything that appears below must be present:
- The same social situations almost always trigger fear and anxiety.
- Patients actively avoid the situation.
- The fear or anxiety is disproportionate to the real threat (considering sociocultural norms).
- Fear, anxiety or avoidance cause severe discomfort or significantly impair social or occupational functioning.
Both the shame, the fear of humiliation and the negative assessment that appear in anticipation of the dreaded social exposure situation, as well as the anxiety crisis that can appear at the time of exposure, cause a significant decrease in the person’s self-esteem and increase of their fear of a new situation of similar social exposure.
WHAT ARE THE MOST FREQUENT SYMPTOMS?
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia).
- Feeling of shortness of breath (dyspnea).
- Increased respiratory rate (tachypnea).
- Facial redness.
- Increased sweating (hyperhidrosis).
- Tremor (in the hands and in the vocal cords).
- Stuttering (dysphemia).
- Feelings of intense shame and inadequacy.
- Fear of humiliation.
WHAT DOES THE SOCIAL PHOBIA LOOK LIKE?
- Rehearse conversations in your mind over and over to “get ready.”
- Feeling rapid heartbeat, sweating or having an upset stomach when you feel like you are the focus or center of attention.
- Avoid social activities, parties, meetings, conversations, so as not to say the wrong thing.
- Feeling overwhelming fear of being judged.
- Be afraid of meeting new people, even if you feel like it.
- Thinking too much about social interactions and worrying about the image people have of you.
- Cancel plans even if you want to go.
- Paralyzing inability to speak in social situations.
CREATED BY PSYCHOTHERAPIST DANIELA BATISTA