A common misconception in society is that the feeling of social nervousness is common; many people feel that social anxiety is no big deal and that it’s just a part of one’s personality that isn’t exactly changeable. Many parents also believe that their children’s social anxiety will dissipate on its own, over time, due to the temporary nature of this “phase”. In reality, this notion isn’t completely false; in some people, shyness and social hesitance are a temporary or once-in-a-while occurrence that goes away as time goes on. However, some people suffer from excessive anxiety that is completely different from the temporary nervousness that most people occasionally go through, and this phenomenon is worth paying attention to.
According to studies, many people do not realize that they experience excessive anxiety, which is a condition that is more commonly known as anxiety disorders; likewise, many cases of anxiety disorder go undiagnosed due to the lack of expertise on the part of many healthcare providers. Additionally, similar to the situation regarding other mental disorders, the lack of information on effective therapies to treat anxiety disorder has contributed to the substantial statistics of individuals suffering from anxiety without the aid of any treatments whatsoever.
Everyone has felt nervous or shy before; this is normal. This feeling is, in fact, a characteristic of a well-functioning personality. Shyness often presents itself in social situations, but it does not lead to the inability to socialize or cause disturbances to other aspects of an individual’s life; this is where these feelings differ from anxiety disorder, which often causes significant disruptions to one’s day-to-day existence.
Interestingly, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5), individuals over 18 years of age should not feel that their anxiety is excessive or uncommonly diagnosed; more accurately, for this disorder to be present, the feeling of anxiety must be excessively disproportionate to the threat or harm that one is facing (both mental or physical).
Yes. Based on what triggers one’s anxiety, this disorder can be classified by whether one is fearful of a certain circumstance or if one is worried about the results of a certain action or process. Another criterion is whether anxiety occurs in all sorts of social interactions or if it only presents itself during instances of public engagements such as public speaking or performing in front of a crowd.
Social anxiety disorders can induce symptoms that can be severe enough to provoke a panic attack (which is associated with panic disorder- a type of anxiety disorder). Both anxiety disorder and panic disorder are similar, but not completely the same; social anxiety is consistently linked with social situations while it’s not necessarily the case with panic disorder.
The abundance of anxiety disorder cases in teenagers is not surprising at all. The teenage years are a part of a transitional phase in which children move from total dependence on family or parental figures to more independent interactions with peers; in other words, in this phase, teenagers become more independent from their parents and more dependent on people of their age group. The way that teenagers interact with others during these years will influence the way they interact interpersonally for the rest of their lives.
Moreover, the teenage years is a phase where self-awareness begins to develop more deeply; therefore, individuals of this age often start to direct more attention to their own selves. Self- consciousness can be divided into two categories: personal and public. Personal self-consciousness is one’s awareness of their own thoughts and feelings while public self-consciousness is an individual’s awareness of their place in society or in a societal situation.
Public self-consciousness often contributes to the development of social anxiety in teenagers. The increase in self-awareness of one’s status as a social entity in teenagehood intensifies an individual’s sensitivity to how people perceive them. Like a double-edged sword, this phenomenon could, on the one hand, help teenagers engage in mature behaviors and build lasting relationships with those around them; on the other hand, however, intensified self-consciousness (especially public self-consciousness) can push an individual to feel fragile and further heighten their anxiety. Worse yet, instances of social rejection (especially among peers) could aggravate one’s levels of anxiousness.
To those of you with anxiety, there’s an easy relaxation method you could try at home to help relieve tension and calm your anxiousness; this method is called Progressive Relaxation Muscle. For more information, research Progressive Relaxation Muscle on reliable sites on the internet or visit your trusted healthcare provider.