Sunday, 21 March 2010

Social Phobia

It is a part of human nature to feel tensed, self-conscious or downright shy when we are in front of many people. Sweaty palms, a fluttering stomach as well as a pounding heart are all natural specially when talking in front of a large crowd, asking someone for a date, etc. Most people can deal with these situations however for the others the anxiety or shyness can be too much to handle it becomes unbearable. Every time someone feels tensed or shy, eye contact or chatting with others can be very difficult. As a result socialization becomes a challenge. Extreme shyness or being too self-conscious is a condition known as social phobia. Social phobia, which is also known as social anxiety, is categorized as a kind of anxiety issue. Too much shyness and self-consciousness may develop into an overwhelming fear resulting in discomfort whenever faced with other human interaction or social situations. For social phobia, there is no problem with family or a few friendly interactions however, meeting other people or speaking in a group can trigger extreme shyness, too much fear of embarrassment or self-consciousness which may all interfere with the victim’s life. Just like any other type of phobia, social phobia is about a fear reaction to something that is not really there or is not dangerous at all. This means the body is exhibiting fight-flight response like shallow breathing, faster heartbeat or sweating which are all caused by the adrenaline and other bodily chemicals to prepare someone for a fight or an escape. Such a reaction is triggered by the body’s defense mechanism particularly when we are scared. This is a natural response, which alerts someone to danger in order to protect himself however with social phobia this happens far too frequently and very strongly. Sometimes, the extreme reaction is not appropriate anymore for a certain situation and because of this treatment is also needed for this type of disorder. The treatment used for social phobia is no different from the treatment used for simple phobia and agoraphobia. Medications such as tranquilizers and anxiolytics are often used for the cure of most phobias including social phobia. Tricyclic, an antidepressant is also used for the treatment of social phobia patients but is usually prescribed in smaller doses. This drug is known to control panic attacks. For severe forms of anxiety other drugs such as benzodiazepines are used together with the Tricyclic to desensitize behavior. Another antidepressant drug such as Imipramine is meant to block panic attacks and so with Clomipramine but this drug is more potent for those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are known side effects associated with these drugs. There are other medications, which are used for the management of anxiety of people suffering from social phobia. The prescription of each drug will depend on the severity of the phobia. Most drugs are effective in curing social phobia but if there is no obvious improvement of the victim’s condition, other therapies or other medications may be recommended.

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