Social phobia, which is also referred to as social anxiety, is a disorder where an individual has extreme anxiety and self-consciousness about social situations. They have a constant and intense fear of being watched, judged and criticized by others for something they say or do. People with social phobia often have a fear so great that it may interfere with their everyday life at work, school or any social activity. Although most people with social phobia realize their fear is unwarranted, they are unable to change or stop the fear.

Social phobia may be involved around many things. Some people are afraid to eat or drink in front of others. Some are afraid to speak in front of others. In some more severe cases of social phobia, the person is afraid to even be around other people. In many cases of social phobia, physical symptoms will develop as well. Some of the physical symptoms include but are not limited to sweating, blushing, difficulty talking, trembling, palpitations and stomach discomfort. There entire problem of social phobia can be like a vicious cycle with the individual worrying so much about getting the symptoms that they increase their chances of developing the symptoms from the extra added stress. If they could only realize and deal with the many causes of social phobia.

There are many different causes of social phobia. Many times social phobia runs in the families with the children developing the same conditions as the parents. It is often associated with depression and/or alcohol dependence. Social phobia occurs in women twice as much as it does in men, for some reason. It may occur in childhood or the teen years, but seldom starts after the age of 25. There has been ongoing research to learn all the causes of social phobia.

Some research has pinpointed it down to a small structure in the brain called "amygdale" as being a culprit in causing the symptoms. The amygdale is the central part in the brain that controls our sense of fear. Other research has indicated that it's believed that social phobia may be inherited and passed down. One group of researchers has also determined that causes of social phobia may come for a high sensitivity to disapproval, which may be based on hormones or physiological reasons.

Yet another cause of social phobia may be the environment according to some research. By this they mean, a person may develop a phobia of a certain situation based on what they've seen happen to others in the same situation. This process is referred to as observational learning, meaning they "learn" how to behave based on what they observe of others.

Dealing With a Social Phobia in Children

As everyday passes, there are more and more children that are being diagnosed as having some sort of social phobia. In fact, each year the percentage keeps rising higher and higher as the treatments do not!

Many times when people have to deal with a social phobia in children, they are unsure as to what they can do and how they can help the children. In fact, many times parents are unaware that there is such a thing as a social phobia in children. Therefore, it is very important not only for the parents but for medical personnel to look for such symptoms of a social phobia. In children, it can be fairly easy to detect if there is some sort of phobia.

When it comes to a social phobia in children, there are many ways or things that a parent or guardian can do to help with the situation; without harming the child further. Many times people believe that if they leave the child alone, the social phobia with outgrow the child; however, that is the wrong thought to have; as it is incorrect! The best thing a person can do when a social phobia in children is apparent is to teach it the appropriate social skills he/she will need as well as showing them how to deal with specific social situations and using the appropriate social behavior. Besides teaching the children the social skills they need to learn, it is also great for them to be taught how to identify as well as change their anxious thoughts. Another very easy thing that an adult can do to help the social phobia in children is to teach the child to think more positive and to have more rational thoughts. In fact, those children that are able to control their thoughts are able to enter any social situations better than those that can't. Many parents will even have their children go through different types of therapy. One of the most successful types of therapy is to learn cognitive therapy techniques; which helps the children reduce the bad thoughts in their minds.

If you are a parent that can not afford a lot due to things you can not handle (such as a low income, no job, etc.), there are still some things that you can do! In fact, one of the best ways that you can help a child that has some sort of social phobia is to spend time with them! When spending time with them, you can gradually give them a situation that they can handle; a little at a time though! Another great thing that is relatively cheap is to play games with them. Some of the best games you can get are where they have to use their minds; such as Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four or Pictionary.

No matter what you do for your child, whether it costs a little or a lot, it will definitely be worth it; especially if you didn't do anything for them in the past!! A little bit always goes a long ways!!

Learn New Ways of Overcoming Social Anxiety

Social anxiety affects thousands of people each year interfering with their daily lives. There are, however, ways of overcoming social anxiety if you are one of the many that have this disorder to deal with. Some people see a therapist or psychologist for help with overcoming social anxiety. Therapists will often use a variety of methods such as cognitive-behavior therapy and possible medications to take along with the therapy.

There are also many natural herbs and supplements known to help with overcoming social anxiety. The positive thing about these supplements is that they are not addictive and will not cause some of the side effects you see in many prescription medications. There are still many people that choose to try to deal with their social anxiety on their own without the help of a doctor or therapist. If you are one of these people, there are some tips that may be helpful in overcoming social anxiety.

One of the first ways you can help your social anxiety is by changing your attitude. There are two very effective ways of changing your attitude that will help in overcoming social anxiety. One way is to change any expectations you have on yourself that may be unrealistic. When you set goals for yourself, you need to make sure they are goals that you can meet. The second way is to change your distorted views that others are criticizing or judging you if you're not perfect. It's important that you realize that it's ok to make a mistake occasionally and it's no reason to stress out.

Another way to help yourself with self-confidence is by starting small and taking baby steps. If you suffer from social anxiety, you hate the idea of speaking to others or being in a crowd. When you see your neighbor or someone you know, smile and say hello to them. It may not seem like a lot, but it's a start. If you're at work or school, make a comment about the work to someone near you. It doesn't have to be a long discussion, but just a simple comment. The next day, make a similar comment to the same person or perhaps include a second person in the conversation. Continue this until you are actually talking with a small crowd and they are talking back to you.

Don't be afraid to speak up if someone makes a comment that you disagree with. Make eye contact as you speak, keeping an alert posture. You may want to read up on current events or watch the local news. If someone brings up a current event, you can add to the conversation, secure with the knowledge that you know what you're talking about. Always be a good listener while others are talking. Don't be afraid to give compliments to those you are talking to.

When you're alone, always try to practice this on your own. If you considered calling a hotline dealing with social anxiety, speaking with them may help make you more comfortable.

Author's Bio: 

Behavioral psychology analyst and creator of DiagnosisStress.com