Video by Jenny, text by Dr. Carandang
Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Linda in New York City. Can stress cause social anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder is a major anxiety disorder. And apart from avoiding going to a party when faced with a social situation which is unavoidable, a person with social anxiety will suffer with sweating, blushing, dizziness, dry mouth, trembling and an upset stomach.
Can stress cause social anxiety? Yes, stress can trigger and exacerbate social anxiety. Life experience such as a divorce and the loss of a job are two examples of stressful situations which can trigger or exacerbate social anxiety. The effect of social anxiety is that some people become so distraught with having to interact socially with bosses and colleagues at work that the only option for them is to resign.
Social anxiety usually starts in childhood with difficulty making friends after embarrassing and humiliating moments. Your family history, way of thinking, and the stressors you encounter all contribute to the development of social anxiety disorder. Left untreated, your fear of social scrutiny can cause you to underachieve, become isolated, and develop low self-esteem.
The most common treatment for social anxiety is psychotherapy, where gradual exposure is the main treatment. Medications can also be considered for severe cases of social anxiety disorder, or for cases that do not respond to psychotherapy.
Adjunctive treatments such as relaxation and deep breathing exercises can be instituted, as well as natural treatments such as herbal remedies and dietary supplements.