Social anxiety disorder is also called social phobia, which involves intense fear of rejection, negative evaluation, and being judged in a social event or performance. The signs and symptoms include extreme nervousness and avoidance that interfere with everyday routine. It usually starts as early as preadolescence and continues until adulthood.
In this post, you’ll gain some helpful tips on caring for people suffering from social anxiety.
- Assess Signs And Symptoms Of Social Anxiety
Before any actionable steps or treatment, it’s important to know what causes a person to become socially anxious. First, you have to assess the signs and symptoms the person exhibits, as well as the situations that trigger them.
Physical signs and symptoms that can accompany social anxiety may include trembling, blushing, sweating, fast heartbeat, nausea or upset stomach, muscle tension, lightheadedness or dizziness, and a blank mind or blacking out.
Everyday experiences and common routines may be hard to endure for people with social anxiety, such as:
- Starting conversations
- Interacting with strangers or unfamiliar people
- Attending social gatherings or parties
- Going to school or work
- Making eye contact
- Returning items to a store
- Entering a room wherein people are already seated
- Using a public restroom
- Eating in front of others
- Making phone calls
Note: While social anxiety can change over time, signs and symptoms may flare up when a person is faced with a lot of demands and stress. Avoiding such situations can make a person feel better, but only for a short period of time. Proper treatment is critical because social anxiety continues over the long term if neglected, so seek help from mental health specialists, such as the ones from https://apibhs.com/.
- Teach Relaxation Techniques
Social anxiety is usually triggered by an unexpected, sudden, and stressful situation. So, it makes sense teaching your loved one with this type of anxiety some relaxation techniques. Also, people with social anxiety should know how to detect the warning signs of mental and emotional exhaustion to avoid attacks.
Check out the following relaxation tips you can teach someone who has social anxiety:
- Controlling Breathing: Tell the person to sit down in a comfortable position, with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. Ask them to put one hand on their belly, and the other hand on their chest. Demonstrate the proper way of controlling breathing through the nose for four seconds. Tell the person to observe the hand that’s on their belly, which will rise when breathing; the hand on the chest should not move much. When inhaling, the breath should be held for two seconds before being gradually released through the mouth for six seconds. This procedure should be repeated several times until the person feels relaxed.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation Or Exercise: Exercise, such as brisk walking and jogging, can reduce anxiety. Also, progressive muscle relaxation or flexing and releasing muscle groups in the body can help, too. It keeps a person’s attention on the muscle release than the source of anxiety. Yoga is a recommended exercise for combating anxiety as it can help a person control their breathing and relax, which is good for the heart and the mind.
3. Plan Ahead
It is important to plan ahead for parties and other social situations or events that can make a person with social anxiety nervous. If things are anticipated, it will help them feel more confident. For instance, let the person read topics about dating if they’re going to their very first date soon. Relaxation techniques shared above can help a person calm down before leaving home for a party or any social gathering.
- Give Prescribed Anti-Anxiety Medications
If anxiety is too severe, and the doctor has prescribed anti-anxiety medications, make sure to follow the proper dosage and administration. These medications have short- and long-term effects, so continuous intake is highly recommended to avoid wasting your efforts.
- Invite Open Communication
It’s important to invite an open form of communication. Tell your loved one that you are there to listen. Show your genuine love and concern, and find ways to communicate even if you’re not at home, such as through phone calls, email, text messaging, or chat.
When caring for a loved one or a patient with social anxiety, you have to assess the person’s common signs and symptoms when faced with a stressful or demanding situation. In that way, you can provide proper care, such as relaxation techniques or giving prescribed medication or other treatments, as recommended by the doctor. Planning before attending social events or gatherings is also of the essence to prepare the person and avoid getting them too stressed out.
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