Anxiety Disorders and Social Anxiety

Find out about the causes and symptoms of anxiety disorders, social anxiety, panic attacks and generalized anxiety. Find solutions to treat and cure stress and anxiety.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)

Possible Causes of Anxiety Disorders

Social anxiety disorders are most likely caused by a complex interaction of family, environment, stress, biochemical and genetic factors; and often rooted in childhood trauma.

  • Inherited, Genetic or Environmental Causes – May be learned from other family members and is possibly genetic. Often the parents have an underlying anxiety disorder, or are abusive, controlling or over-protective. Some researchers believe the person may have an overactive amygdala, causing them to be over-sensitive to fear. Introverted, sensitive or shy children may be more susceptible.
  • Stress – Anxiety conditions are rapidly increasing, as are many factors of stress in our present world. Anxiety is essentially a learned response to stress overload in sensitive people.
  • Biochemical Causes – Nutritional, mineral, hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalances, such as low serotonin can play a role. Toxic conditions and heavy metals need to be considered.

    Woman stressed with anxiety and feeling all alone.

    Being stressed-out with anxiety limits our world.

Trauma and Abuse – Children or people that experience sexual abuse or severe emotional, mental or physical abuse are more susceptible. Children with parental attachment issues are more susceptible, as are children that experience severe bullying, ridicule, humiliation or rejection, or other family conflict or negative experiences.

People susceptible to anxiety disorders get a sense early on in life that things are not controllable and dangerous. People who suffer from PTSD, as well as substance abuse, often have underlying anxiety disorders.

Signs and symptoms of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder)

  • Can’t rid self of concerns and worries
  • Can’t relax
  • Startle easy
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Have sleep troubles
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Lightheadedness
  • Use the bathroom frequently

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Possible signs and symptoms of Social Anxiety

  • Excessive emotional discomfort
  • Excessive fear or worry about social situations
  • Easily embarrassed
  • Blushing or flushing
  • Irrational fear of social situations
  • Excessive self-consciousness
  • Cold, clammy or sweaty hands or extremities, sometimes over-heated
  • Accelerated heartbeat, fast pulse
  • Trembling, shaking
  • Inability to deeply rest or sleep soundly
  • Abdominal discomfort or nausea
  • Difficulty writing, speaking, walking, performing in front of others
  • Avoiding using public bathrooms or eating in public
  • Avoiding asking a question to a salesperson, stranger, authority or even friends
  • Fear of humiliation
  • Fear of rejection
  • Avoiding social situations or interaction with people
  • Excessive fear of criticism and judgement
  • Considerable fear and avoidance of being with strangers
  • Having panic attacks when in feared situations
  • Excessive fear or worry that others will see or know they are anxious
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Avoiding being the center of attention
  • Work, school, social and family situations are negatively affected
  • Do not like being introduced to people
  • Avoid calling attention to self in school, raising hand in class
  • Fear being called on or asked a question in a group
  • Intestinal disorders, from constipation to diarrhea
  • Mind may go blank when feeling anxious
  • May stutter, have shaky voice, mispronounce words or use wrong words
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Heart fluttering or palpitations
  • Tendency to isolate from people
  • A feeling of wanting to hide, to be invisible

People with social anxiety may also:

  • Have poor social skills
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Be under-achievers
  • Not be assertive
  • Be highly self-critical, and judgmental
  • Be highly sensitive
  • Develop skin conditions or rashes
  • Avoid or fear physical contact
  • Have difficulties with intimacy and sexuality
  • Suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Have trouble concentrating or being focused in public or around others
  • May develop depression and other psychological conditions
  • Suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder)
  • May avoid getting promotions or rewards, to avoid getting attention put on them
  • Have body, self-image, or weight issues
  • Have food, alcohol and drug addictions
  • Have various learning disabilities, including ADHD
  • Suffer from phobias
  • Suffer from PTSD
  • Be suicidal
  • Live isolated, lonely lives
  • Fail to form healthy, long-term satisfying relationships
  • Fail to thrive

People with anxiety disorders may find these situations very difficult:

  • Being comfortable and feeling secure in groups
  • Using a public restroom
  • Sleeping in rooms with other people
  • Sitting next to others on public transportation
  • Entering rooms where other people are already gathered
  • Public speaking
  • Performing, or giving presentations
  • Taking tests
  • Speaking to strangers
  • Asking someone out on a date
  • Making phone calls
  • Sales
  • Dating
  • Being introduced to people
  • Initiating communication or conversations
  • Complaining or speaking up for themselves
  • Speaking or talking on a phone when others are nearby and can hear them
  • Walking to the front where other people are present
  • Doing anything when other people may be watching
  • Letting others know they have this condition, and will avoid seeking help

How To Overcome Anxiety Disorders

Psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for resolving anxiety disorders. It raises self-awareness, provides insight and support, and can resolve the underlying trauma or other causes of anxiety. Here I am speaking of psychotherapy that goes far beyond talk therapy and analysis. I am also not a fan of CBT, or cognitive based therapies.

Look for the following when searching for a psychotherapist:

    Person's hand reaching out to feed a small bird with outstretched wings giving a sense of joy and no anxiety.

    Healing anxiety brings freedom and joy.

  • Gestalt
  • Focusing
  • EFT
  • Person-centered
  • Relational
  • Somatic, Body-centered
  • Mindfulness-based
  • Heart-centered
  • Interpersonal
  • Transpersonal
  • Psychodynamic
  • Experiential
  • Energy Psychology
  • Connection to Spirituality
  • Positive
  • Compassionate
  • Holistic

I personally suffered from extreme social anxiety for many years, including severe blushing, depression and PTSD. I used these types of psychotherapy along with holistic and nutritional health approaches to heal myself nearly 100%. These are also the psychotherapy approaches I provide for my clients.

“Dear Timothy, I really would like to thank you for helping me and inspiring me during a difficult time in my life. Patiently and carefully you guided me back to the core of the person I was truly meant to be. Each time I spoke with you my faith in myself and my abilities were restored and fears and insecurities diminished.” ~ Ivy

The Affects of Alcohol and Marijuana on Anxiety

Some people use alcohol to relax and calm themselves. Alcohol reacts like excess sugar and can cause stress, anxiety and sleep issues. Alcohol like all drugs, can mask anxiety disorders and prevent positive treatment outcomes. Therefore it can be important to lessen or eliminate alcohol consumption. This is especially true with blushing and flushing issues.

Recreational drugs like marijuana can also be a factor. The relationship between marijuana and anxiety is complex. On the one hand, cannabis is often used to calm the mind or body. On the other, studies have shown marijuana to cause anxiety, and to make anxiety conditions worse.

Many panic disorder triggers are similar to the effects of marijuana:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Poor coordination
  • Breathing issues
  • Lightheadedness
  • Depersonalization

What If Anxiety Disorders Go Untreated?

Plants sprouting up through the cracks in pavement.

Therapy helps us to breakthrough and allows new beginnings

If an anxiety order goes untreated it is likely to persist and worsen throughout a person’s life. The person’s life may be dominated by his or her fears, worries, phobias and anxiety. This often interferes with his or her daily life, sleep, relationships, work, professional life or school work. In general the person will experience overall unhappiness and excessive stress, often leading to ill health. In severe cases the individual may drop out of school, quit groups or organizations, quit jobs, give up on careers, become estranged from family and friends, and become isolated.

There is also a higher risk of alcohol and/or substance abuse, depression, and even suicide if anxiety orders go untreated.

Without seeking help, anxiety disorders will likely continue to interfere with your life, work, school, relationships, family and enjoyment of life.

Untreated, anxiety disorders can continue to cause:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Negative self-talk
  • Excessive stress
  • Poor health
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism
  • Poor social skills
  • Difficult and failed social relationships
  • Low academic and employment achievement
  • Substance abuse and addictions
  • Eating, food and physical health issues
  • Insomnia and sleep issues
  • Suicide or suicide attempts
  • Depression

Take Action and Resolve GAD, Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks and All Forms of Anxiety Disorders

After years of suffering from very severe anxiety and blushing, I not only no longer suffer from these issues, I now provide highly successful therapy that has helped many people resolve their anxiety disorders. There are solutions. It is not as difficult or complex as many researchers and therapists believe. Perhaps they never had to resolve it for themselves. I have resolved it for myself and I am helping many others resolve all forms of anxiety issues.

Find Out How I Can Help You

It’s easy. Contact me today and let’s discuss how I can help you effectively resolve your anxiety issue. To find out your options, and for more information, click here. 

Woman sitting looking at lake feeling anxious, alone, depressed.

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People socializing without anxiety, or blushing, comfortable and happy.

Severe blushing can prevent us from fully enjoying life. Learn how to stop it!

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