Let’s explore social anxiety. What role does it play in your mental health? Is it due to being shy or are you dealing with anxiety and depression?!
Is social anxiety a symptom of a much bigger problem?
Most importantly how do you overcome social anxiety?
What Is Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety comes from the fear of being judged as well as being evaluated by other people.
If you suffer from it you might be mistaken for or labeled as shy as well as unfriendly.
You’ll find that you want to make friends as well as be part of a group. However, you may not feel like talking to people because of anxiety and also depression.
Social Anxiety happens with generalized anxiety disorder and also bipolar disorder.
What Role Does Bipolar Disorder Play In Social Anxiety?
Bipolar disorder is a hard condition to not only live with but also to treat. If you have it there’s a chance that you also have a coexisting anxiety disorder. These include generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia as well as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
Social anxiety happens with these coexisting disorders. As a result it causes problems when you’re interacting with other people.
Let’s explore some of the symptoms of social anxiety that cause problems.
What Are Some Symptoms?
Bipolar disorder and social anxiety have coexisting symptoms.
- Fatigue: Some people with bipolar disorder get hyperactive or aroused after an anxiety attack. There are others that feel fatigue or extreme tiredness.
- Trembling And Sweating: Anxiety, excitement and frailty can cause out of control shaking or trembling as well as sweating.
- Upset Stomach: Stress and also anxiety can make you sick to your stomach.
- Trouble Breathing And Dizziness: Anxiety tightens muscles including the ones that help you breathe. As a result the fear of passing out happens with shortness of breath. Also being short of breath causes dizziness and can make you feel lightheaded.
- Muscle Tension: Muscle tension causes stiffness or unexplained pain all over your body.
- Fast Heartbeat: Anxiety causes a high heart rate and heart palpitations.
Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms
- Fear Of Being Judged And Embarrassing Yourself: Have you ever asked someone an embarrassing question? Then you end up feeling a lot of shame and fear of being judged for asking it? This happens a lot with social anxiety.
- Hard Time With Relationships: Social anxiety makes relationships harder.
- Body Image Issues: Being self-conscious about how you look can trigger social anxiety. As a result you may find yourself looking in the mirror constantly and also compare your body with others.
- Substance Abuse: Substance abuse is more common in people with social anxiety issues.
- Anxiety And Panic Attacks: Anxiety is the feeling of fear of what’s to come in the future. A panic attack is an episode of intense fear with physical reactions including sweating, trembling and also trouble breathing.
- Depression And Low Self-Esteem: Along with depression social anxiety also triggers low self-esteem.
What Triggers Social Anxiety?
Bipolar triggers vary from person to person. Some people feel anxiety due to different triggers and there are others that feel anxious for no reason at all.
Having bipolar disorder that is not treated makes forming relationships hard. The social anxiety that comes with intrusive thinking is the result of obsessing over what other people think.
Relationships can be a trigger for bipolar mood episodes. There’s already some anxiety from being in a relationship. As a result a parter may have problems with insecure attachment as well as the fear of abandonment.
Unless these problems are resolved a relationship may feel like gasoline being dumped on the bipolar fire.
Stressful Life Events and Social Situations:
A lot of stressful life events can trigger social anxiety. These include death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, moving, emotional problems, chronic illness as well as past trauma.
It can be something that happens all of a sudden or something you expect overtime.
Caffeine And Diet:
For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder swallowing too much caffeine can trigger symptoms or make them worse.
For example the jittery effects of coffee are similar to those of a scary event. Caffeine triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response.
Eating certain foods like dairy, fried foods, gluten as well as processed foods feed into social anxiety.
Negative Self-Talk And Suicidal Thoughts:
Social anxiety can lead to negative self-talk that affects your self esteem.
It can co-occur with depression as well as negative self-talk. As a result it can cause suicidal thoughts. Please call a professional immediately if you’re having suicidal thoughts.
Lack Of Sleep:
There is a connection between anxiety and lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep causes anxiety and also anxiety itself can cause sleep problems.
If you don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep it can take a toll on your mental health. As a result it can heavily influence your outlook on life, energy level, motivation as well as emotions.
If you have bipolar disorder mania can trigger insomnia. As a result it can lead to depressive episodes. When this happens you may not feel like talking to other people and also you may end up self isolating..
How To Overcome Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety can stay with you for life.
When you get the right treatment it can help you to manage or even overcome your symptoms.
Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety:
Work With A Therapist:
It’s important to work with a therapist. Overcoming social anxiety is achieved with medication, cognitive therapy and also setting objective goals.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake and Change Your Diet:
Reducing the amount of caffeine you swallow and also changing your diet reduces anxiety symptoms.
There aren’t any diet changes that can cure anxiety. It may help if you watch what you eat.
For example you should consider eating a breakfast with some protein. As a result you’ll feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar steady. Also, you’ll have more energy as you start your day.
It’s important to get outside your comfort zone and slowly expose yourself to social situations. These can include crowded places, parties and also traveling to a new place with new people.
Speaking of exposure therapy, here is a fun post about getting outside your comfort zone. Please, click here!
Spend Time In Nature:
There’s a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress as well as anxiety.
Being out in nature helps you feel better mentally. Also it helps you lower muscle tension, blood pressure as well as lowering stress hormones.
Reframe Your Negative Thoughts:
I mentioned in my post “Turning Anxiety into a Superpower” that reframing is the process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are replaced with positive and empowering ones.
Have You Ever Dealt with Social Anxiety?
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