Reaching out for help is the basic steps required for overcoming mental illnesses, including social anxiety disorder. It might be difficult but it is necessary. Most people living with this disorder had been living with it for years before they got help, probably because they were not aware of what was causing their anguish in social settings or did not know it could be managed.
It is very important to address your social anxiety because of the negative impact it has on your life. It can impede your career, academics and relationships. The reason why you need to overcome your social anxiety disorder is because it can cause:
Low self-esteem and self-criticism: This may be as a result of emotional or physical abuse caused by bullying, rejection and being ignored. Social anxiety disorder contributes to reduced self-esteem as you feel that you are less important to other people and when you speak they will disapprove of what you will say. You tend to judge yourself critically and harshly without appreciating your positive assets.
Difficulty in being assertive: When our needs are not met by people that should meet them, we become angry, frustrated and disappointed. This will happen continuously if we are not communicating our needs properly. This feeling of frustration and anger might be occasionally felt when you are living with SAD. You tend to keep your feelings to yourself and not share them with people and because humans cannot read minds,your needs are continually unmet.
Hypersensitivity to criticism: Sometimes constructive criticism yields good result but in people living with SAD, all cases of criticism can lead to more damage because you feel you are being judged.
Poor social skills: Social anxiety disorder reduces your ability to be assertive and tocommunicate non-verbally and verbally.Therapy and practise can help to improve communication skills like making introductions, active listening, overcoming telephone phobia, accepting and giving compliments which are all important for managing social interactions.
Isolation: It is easier to live in isolation when you are living with social anxiety disorder. It is difficult to maintain social relationships which can lead to loneliness and to the extreme, depression. With depression, suicide or suicide attempts can come into play. Sometimes, to be able to function in social gatherings, people living with SAD tend to begin substance abuse. Isolation can also cause low academic and employment achievement as you miss out on a lot of opportunities to improve yourself or showcase your ability to do well either in school or at your workplace.
If you are living with social anxiety disorder, you should take a bold step and get help. You might not overcome it at once, but you are a step closer to recovery.
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I am a health writer and enthusiastic about improving lives through public dissemination of information about your health.