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Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)


What is this social phobia that we often talk about?

Recently, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and other institutions jointly surveyed more than 4,000 young people aged 18 to 35 and found that 40.2% of them said they had different degrees of social anxiety disorder. In the survey, 52.7% of people think that they lack social skills, 55.6% of people are not confident enough about their own conditions, and 38.3% of people blame social anxiety on introversion.

What is social anxiety disorder?

SAD is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. For people with social anxiety disorder, everyday social interactions cause irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. symptoms may include excess fear of situations in which one may be judged, worry about embarrassment or humiliation, or concern about offending someone.

Symptoms of SAD:

1. They are always socially anxious, shy, or timid in most social situations.

2. Being overly sensitive to others' criticism or refutation, doubting whether others are targeting them.

3. There are very few close friends or confidants other than immediate family members.

4. Avoid a certain level of human contact with a clear understanding that this fear is excessive and unreasonable.

5. Reluctance to participate in social situations due to fear of speaking or doing silly things, or fear of being rude in front of others, especially fear of doing dishonorable and embarrassing things in front of strangers.

6. When socializing, there will be physiological conditions such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth, muscle tension and tremors.

7. Unsatisfied social desires lead to anxiety, loneliness, and dare not face setbacks.

8. They often face social issues in an evasive way and live alone most of the time.

How to overcome SAD?

Change your own thinking: Most of the time, people with social phobia can have a hard time seeking help, even if they realize they have a serious problem, because they refrain from socializing, even their doctor. But the more you try to escape, the more anxious you become. This step is needed to overcome fear.

Doing exercise: Exercise can effectively relieve symptoms of social anxiety. Not only does exercising divert your attention and free you from negative emotions, it also changes the brain’s production of neurochemicals by raising your heart rate, such as increasing anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including the pleasure factor dopamine, which makes you feel better. Relaxing serotonin, pain-relieving endorphins. Not only that, but exercise activates the frontal lobe area of the brain responsible for executive function, helping to control the activity of the amygdala.

Control diet:

(1) Eat more high-quality carbohydrates, that is, more complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole-wheat pasta, which can be used to replace processed grains (such as bread and pasta) and simple carbohydrates (such as juice). Because high-quality carbohydrates take more time to digest, there are fewer changes in serotonin levels in the brain, helping you stay calm.

(2) Eat more foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kimchi, and miso. A study from the University of Maryland showed a link between foods containing probiotics and lower social anxiety.

(3) Eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and nuts. The Ohio State University Institute of Behavioral Medicine has confirmed research that omega-3 helps reduce anxiety, and this medical study used omega-3-containing supplements, suggesting that supplementation can also improve social anxiety.

(4) Eat more foods rich in antioxidants, including beans, fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, etc. Spices with antioxidant and anti-anxiety properties include turmeric and ginger.

(5) Avoid drinking alcohol or consuming caffeine. Alcohol can aggravate people's depression, and social anxiety is often accompanied by symptoms of depression, and caffeine can also promote anxiety to a certain extent.

- END -

Finally, I hope this article can be dedicated to all of you who have social anxiety. I hope you can make more friends and feel more comfortable in social situations.

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