Herbal & homeopathic remedies for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social Anxiety Disorder
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
General description & overview of Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
 

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and inferiority. It is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.

In social anxiety disorder, everyday interactions cause extreme fear and self-consciousness. It may become impossible for you to eat with acquaintances or write a check in public, let alone go to a party with lots of strangers. If your life is disrupted by this kind of fear, you may have social anxiety disorder.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

SocialFear Relief™

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves social fear; anxiety; nervousness; shyness and stage fright.

Product Details

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

MindSoothe™

Promote balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of wellbeing.

Product Details

While many people with social phobia realize that their fears about being with people are excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome them. Even if they manage to confront their fears and be around others, they are usually very anxious beforehand, are intensely uncomfortable throughout the encounter, and worry about how they were judged for hours afterward.

Social anxiety (formerly called social phobia) is the largest anxiety disorder and the third largest psychological problem in the United States today, after depression and alcoholism. This type of anxiety affects 15 million Americans in any given year. It is estimated that 7-8% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety at the present time.

Don’t Worry, its Manageable!

If you or a loved one has social anxiety disorder, take heart. Effective treatment — often with cognitive behavioral therapy, medication and positive coping skills — can improve the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and open up new opportunities.

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Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social anxiety disorder can have emotional, behavioral and physical signs and symptoms.

Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Intense fear of being in situations in which you don't know people which includes most social encounters, although especially with strangers. Being introduced to other people is an ordeal in itself. Meeting people in authority ("important people").

  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged. Worried of being watched while doing something.

  • Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself. Tense of being teased or criticized

  • Having to say something in a formal, public situation

  • Fear that others will notice that you look anxious

  • Automatic negative thinking cycles

  • Anxiety that disrupts your daily routine, work, school or other activities

  • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment

  • Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention

Physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Turning red or blushing

  • Racing heart, Palpitations

  • Excessive sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Nausea

  • Swallowing with difficulty

  • Stomach upset

  • Difficulty talking

  • Shaky voice, dry throat and mouth

  • Muscle twitches, particularly about the face and neck

  • Confusion

  • Diarrhea

  • Cold, clammy hands

  • Difficulty making eye contact

Go..Get Help!!

Too many people with Social Anxiety Disorder don’t seek treatment and are never able to live up to their full potential and reach their dreams. Don’t suffer in solitude - help is available!

Complications

Left untreated, social anxiety disorder can be debilitating. Your anxieties may run your life. They can interfere with work, school, relationships or enjoyment of life. You may be considered an "underachiever," when in reality it's your fears holding you back from excelling. In severe cases, you may drop out of school, quit work or lose friendships.

Social anxiety disorder can also lead to other health problems, such as:

  • Substance abuse

  • Excessive drinking

  • Depression

  • Suicide

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Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
 

Like many other mental health conditions, social anxiety disorder likely arises from a complex interaction of environment and genes. Researchers continue to study possible causes, including:

  • Genes - Researchers are seeking specific genes that play a role in anxiety and fear. Social anxiety disorder seems to run in families. Theorists believe that we are genetically prepared to fear and/or get angry, critical or rejecting people as a self-defense mechanism. But evidence suggests that the hereditary component of this condition is due at least in part to anxious behavior learned from other family members.

  • Biochemistry - Researchers are exploring the idea that natural chemicals in your body may play a role in social anxiety disorder. For instance, an imbalance in the brain chemical serotonin (ser-oh-TOE-nin) could be a factor. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps regulate mood and emotions, among other things. People with social anxiety disorder may be extra-sensitive to the effects of serotonin.

  • Fear responses - Some research suggests that a structure in the brain called the amygdala (uh-MIG-duh-luh) may play a role in controlling the fear response. People who have an overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, causing increased anxiety in social situations.

  • Psychological Factors:

    • Infants born with shy or inhibited personalities are more at risk than outgoing babies.

    • A traumatic social experience, such as family conflict or sexual abuse, could teach the individual that social or performance situations are something to be feared.

    • Children with overly critical parents could be at risk for developing Social Anxiety

    Did you know?

    Children who experience teasing, bullying, rejection, ridicule or humiliation may be more prone to social anxiety disorder.

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies useful in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
 

Conventional medications

Antidepressants (SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) adjust the neurotransmitter levels in your brain to try and relieve anxiety), anti-anxiety medications (Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin) and diazepam (Valium) create a sedative affect to reduce anxiety), and beta-blockers (Propranolol (Inderal) are used to stop the effects of adrenaline (such as palpitations, sweating) – a key chemical in anxiety) are the most common medications used for anxiety disorders.

The most common side effects for benzodiazepines are drowsiness and dizziness. Other possible side effects include:

  • Upset stomach

  • Blurred vision

  • Headache

  • Confusion

  • Grogginess

  • Nightmares.

Common side effects from beta-blockers include:

  • Fatigue

  • Cold hands

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness.

In addition, beta-blockers generally are not recommended for people with asthma or diabetes because they may worsen symptoms.

Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies

Natural remedies for overcoming social anxiety disorder symptoms can include alternative treatments such as relaxation and deep breathing techniques as well as herbal and homeopathic remedies which may be very helpful along with psychotherapy.

As with other psychological ailments, a holistic approach has proven beneficial in treating Social Anxiety, while also incorporating mainstream and complementary treatments along with balanced diet and exercise.

Taken alone or in combination with psychotherapy, natural remedies for overcoming social anxiety disorder symptoms offer the same benefits as conventional medications, but without the disturbing side-effects and potential for addiction.

Tailored to suit your individual needs, natural products can help relieve anxiety and calm the negative physical effects of social anxiety disorder. Some well known and commonly recommended natural remedies for overcoming social anxiety disorder symptoms include Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm), Lavender and Passiflora Incarnata – to soothe the mind and calm the nerves. Some herbal remedies (e.g. Hypericum perforatum or St John’s Wort) have been clinically shown to be just as effective as many of the anti-depressant drugs.

Taken over time, they can balance brain chemistry and prevent the overwhelming symptoms of anxiety from occurring in the first place.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social Fear Relief for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

SocialFear Relief™

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves social fear; anxiety; nervousness; shyness and stage fright.

Product Details

PureCalm for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

MindSoothe for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

MindSoothe™

Promote balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of wellbeing.

Product Details

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Helpful dietary recommendations in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Eating a balanced diet consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can help strengthen the body’s resistance to stress. These foods contain nutrients that are essential for healthy body function. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine also helps to reduce stress. Stimulants put the body in a constant state of heightened agitation and can facilitate a kind of false stress response when no stress is present. Refined sugar also creates stress as the body feels a rush of energy and then a crash in blood sugar. Processed foods should be avoided in favor of whole foods as they don’t contain the nutrients needed for strengthening the body’s ability to handle stress.

For healthy serotonin levels - Your body needs an amino acid called tryptophan so that it can make serotonin but this important amino acid can only be generated through diet. Protein: Chicken, turkey, cheese, eggs etc - any foods containing protein will contain tryptophan. By the way, bananas are also a rich source of tryptophan and the fruit also contains potassium. When we are stressed our levels of potassium can be reduced so bananas are an excellent fruit to include in your diet.

Once tryptophan has been taken into the body through these foods, we need to help our body absorb this important amino acid. Eating carbohydrates is one of the best ways to do this. Combining complex carbohydrates available from whole grains such as whole wheat bread or whole oats with protein also helps to keep blood sugar levels steady, avoiding the stress of the sugar crashing cycle that can add to physical stress. Drinking plenty of water helps, too, as dehydration is just added stress to the body.

Get Your Zinc

This mineral is found in eggs, shellfish and seafood - and it has been shown that increased levels of zinc can help to improve low mood levels as well as helping the body to process carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Dos & don'ts (precautionary measures) in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided.

Therapy - Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety has been markedly successful.  This type of therapy aims at uncovering and changing the unconscious perceptions of danger associated with social situations. It also includes a gradual exposure to the feared situation until the individual no longer fears it. Thousands of research studies now indicate that, after CBT, people with social anxiety disorder report a changed life - one that is no longer controlled by fear and anxiety.  Appropriate therapy is markedly successful in changing people's thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and behavior.  

Lifestyle and home remedies

Although social anxiety disorder generally requires help from a medical expert or qualified psychotherapist, you can try some self-help techniques to handle situations likely to trigger social anxiety disorder symptoms.

First, assess your fears to identify what situations cause the most anxiety. Then gradually practice these activities until they cause you less anxiety. You may need to begin with small steps in situations that aren't overwhelming.

Situations to practice may include:

  • Eating with a close relative, friend or acquaintance in a public setting.
  • Making eye contact and returning greetings from others, or being the first to say hello.
  • Giving someone a compliment.
  • Asking a retail clerk to help you find an item.
  • Getting directions from a stranger.
  • Showing an interest in others. Ask about their homes, children, grandchildren, hobbies or travels, for instance.
  • Calling a friend to make plans.

At first being social when you are feeling anxious is challenging. As difficult or painful as it may seem initially, don't avoid situations that trigger your symptoms. By regularly facing these kinds of situations, you'll continue to build and reinforce your coping skills.

The following techniques can help you begin to face situations that make you nervous. Practicing these techniques regularly can help you manage or reduce your anxiety.

  • Prepare for conversation. For instance, read the newspaper to identify an interesting story you can talk about.
  • Focus on personal qualities you like about yourself.
  • Adopt stress management techniques.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Pay attention to how often the embarrassing situations you're afraid of actually take place. You may notice that the scenarios you fear usually don't come to pass.
  • When embarrassing situations do happen, remind yourself that your feelings will pass, and you can handle them until they do.

In addition, be sure to keep your medical or therapy appointments, take medications as directed, and talk to your doctor about any changes in your condition.

Take a Deep Breath

Practice relaxation and deep-breathing exercises when you are alone. Once you are comfortable with these techniques you can start using them in situations when you start to feel anxious.

Coping and support

Coping with social anxiety disorder can be challenging. Having social anxiety disorder can make it difficult for you to go to work or school, to interact with other people, or even to visit the doctor. But maintaining connections and building relationships are key ways to help cope with any mental disorder.

Over time, treatment can help you feel more comfortable, relaxed and confident in the presence of others. In the meantime, don't use alcohol or illicit drugs to try to get through an event or situation that makes you anxious.

Some positive coping methods include:

  • Reaching out to people with whom you feel comfortable
  • Joining a support group
  • Engaging in pleasurable activities, such as exercise or hobbies, when you feel anxious. Exercise regularly as this helps burn up stress-related chemicals such as adrenaline while releasing happiness-inducing endorphins.
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a well-balanced diet

Over time, doing this can help control your symptoms and prevent a relapse. Remind yourself that you can get through anxious moments, that your anxiety is short-lived, and that the negative consequences you worry about so much rarely come to pass.

The family is very important in the recovery of a person with an anxiety disorder. Ideally, the family should be supportive but not help perpetuate their loved one’s symptoms. Family members should not trivialize the disorder or demand improvement without treatment. If your family is doing either of these things, you may want to show them this booklet so they can become educated allies and help you succeed in therapy.

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

SocialFear Relief™

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves social fear; anxiety; nervousness; shyness and stage fright.

Product Details

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

MindSoothe™

Promote balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of wellbeing.

Product Details