What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting nearly 15 million adults in the U.S. alone.
Social anxiety tests one's ability to cope in certain social situations. This condition is characterized by an intense fear of social situations which generates a lot of emotional discomfort. People who struggle with social anxiety are constantly afraid that others are criticizing and judging. This social anxiety test will identify symptoms related to this social phobia.
As a result, those with social anxiety resort to social withdrawal and isolation, in an attempt to escape the frustration, shame, and guilt that they experience whenever they have to interact with other people.
But feeling shy and uncomfortable in certain situations isn’t necessarily a sign of social anxiety. The level of discomfort that we experience in different social contexts varies depending on individual traits and life experiences. The social anxiety test will be an assessment of those differences.
While some people tend to have an outgoing personality, others are naturally inclined toward introversion.
The difference between being shy and being socially anxious can only be determined in this social anxiety test based on how we react to emotional discomfort.
In other words, social anxiety becomes a severe problem when everyday social interactions trigger excessive fear and a profound feeling of shame that invalidates the person and leads to avoidance behaviors.
Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder
Most of the symptoms that characterize this condition gravitate around the fear of humiliation and criticism, which trigger fear, shame, and guilt.
Some of the most common signs discussed in the social anxiety test include:
- Excessive sweating and shaking
- Headaches and migraines
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pains
- Muscle tension
- Rapid breathing
- State of confusion
- Tendency to avoid eye contact
- Blushing of face
- Feelings of shame
- Lack of focus
- Fear of situations in which you can be analyzed or evaluated
- Fear of being around people you don’t know
- Fear of criticism, ridicule, and humiliation
- Desire to escape a given situation (avoidance behaviors)
- Constant self-doubt
- Negative thoughts (e.g., I don’t know what to say; They’re going to make fun of me)
If left unchecked by an anxiety assessment, social anxiety can lead to more severe conditions like depression, panic disorder, or PTSD. This is why taking an assessment like the social anxiety test above can aid in bringing to light signs and symptoms of the social phobia. If this social anxiety test can help catch a social phobia fast, treatment and support may help a person with social anxiety find ample ways to cope.
How is Social Anxiety Disorder Treated?
The two primary treatment options for social anxiety are psychotherapy and medication. If the final results of this social anxiety test advise taking further action to address the needs of your symptoms, these are the main options for treatment after an assessment by a licensed professional:
Since social anxiety can be a profoundly debilitating condition as it tests the boundaries of social interaction, experts recommend pharmacological treatments to stabilize the patient’s overall mood and make way for other therapeutic interventions.
To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor may begin the treatment with a low dose of medication and then gradually increase to a full dose. This process and assessment can take from several weeks to several months, but it tests how you react to the medication.
Psychotherapy or counseling focuses primarily on alleviating the symptoms discussed in the social anxiety test. In therapy, clients learn how to recognize and change negative thinking patterns and develop the skills they need to handle social situations that first brought them to the social anxiety test.
One of the most popular therapeutic approaches for social anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This approach provides clients with a robust arsenal of techniques that enables them to cope with the situations they’re most afraid of, what causes their social phobia, and what was identified in the social anxiety test.
But the most frequently used therapeutic strategy for social phobia is exposure therapy. That involves gradual exposure to anxiety-producing stimuli.
Regardless of the results of the social anxiety test, or the type of treatment that works best for you, social anxiety is treatable, and many people find ways to cope with it. This assessment and any other social anxiety test will provide an understanding of symptoms, however, a licensed mental health professional tests and diagnosis social anxiety disorder or social phobia, and will be able to identify the correct treatment path for you.