Epidemiological studies show that social anxiety ranks third as the largest psychological disorder in America next to depression and alcoholism. Currently, an estimated seven to eight percent of America’s population suffers from social anxiety with a lifetime prevalence rate for developing social anxiety of thirteen to fourteen percent.
According to Dr. Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D., psychologist and director of Social Anxiety Institute, Social Anxiety is the irrational fear of social situations. It is the fear that comes from interacting with other people and this fear brings on feelings of evaluation, inferiority, self-consciousness and judgment. When a person suffers from social anxiety he feels anxious and threatened by other people believing that they are being evaluated and judged negatively. Ultimately, they feel inadequate, inferior, humiliated, embarrassed and depressed.
Today an estimated fifteen million American adults showed positive symptoms of social anxiety and the numbers don’t stop there because more and more people starting at the age of thirteen continuously show signs of this disorder. A study done on patients diagnosed with social anxiety showed that this disorder can be controlled without infusing any form of drug therapy. It has been found that behavioral therapy in itself might be effective in controlling symptoms of social anxiety.
Researchers from Stanford University utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe patients’ brain activity after they have received cognitive behavioral therapy over sixteen times in the course of four months. During their study they discovered that there was indeed increased brain activity in areas associated to controlling emotions after the therapy was given. Cognitive therapy is very useful for people who have the disorder because it helps them change their way of thinking and how they handle emotional responses in social situations.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a kind of psychotherapeutic therapy that utilizes a number of goal-oriented procedures that specifically deals with anxiety and depression by using an amalgamation of cognitive and behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, not all patients can afford to pay for CBT. However, there are still other inexpensive ways aside from CBT that can improve social anxiety in patients. The following are methods that have worked for a majority of patients suffering from social anxiety.
- Herbs – Passion flower can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and can help improve one’s mood because of its anxiolytic properties. It also acts as a mild sedative. Valerian root also helps relax the central nervous system. Valerian root has been shown to reduce stress, control physical responses to anxiety and relieve tensions. The discovery of Winter Cherry as a natural remedy for anxiety and depression also became popular. Winter cherry helps treat anxiety and mild panic attacks as well as reduces stress.
- Distractions – One big factor for overcoming anxiety is through the reduction of negative thoughts. This is where distractions get in the picture. Being distracted by sports, exercise, music, shows, friends and family, hobbies and work can put your mind off negative thoughts that are attacking you causing you to feel anxious. You can successfully replace these thoughts by preoccupying your mind with these so-called distractions.
Although social anxiety anxieties cannot be prevented, you can help improve your condition by seeking help as soon as you notice the symptoms associated with this disorder.
Ira Deano – A registered nurse working for NaturalTongkatali.com, is an avid health writer who keeps herself abreast of the latest research and studies on Tongkat Ali Extract and Health Topics. She believes in the benefits of continued learning and aims to inspire and make the world a better place for both men and women through her writings.