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Guest post on social anxiety disorder from Ralph Macey.
Ralph is associated with SavantCare and his ideology is to remove the social stigma associated with various types of mental disorders. His work focuses on integrated interventions to improve the quality and efficiency of mental health care. Many of you have spoken about issues with social anxiety, so I hope you will find the post interesting and useful.
Girls!!! You’re more likely to have a social anxiety disorder than men. So be careful!!!
Wait! Wait! I ain’t saying that you’ll certainly have an anxiety disorder as you grow older. It’s just like women are prone to breast cancer. But that doesn’t mean that all women will have breast cancer.
I’m only saying that you are more prone to social anxiety disorder than men. Now, you’re young, hale and hearty. You’ve just begun exploring the world. You have miles to go and millions to reach. But it doesn’t harm to know why you’re susceptible to anxiety disorder and what you can do to conquer it. Does it? So without wasting any further words, let’s go straight into the topic.
Why Girls Are More Likely To Have A Social Anxiety Disorder
There are various reasons why women are more prone to social anxiety disorder than men. Let’s talk about them in detail.
1. The Way Women Are Brought Up
The first reason is the way women are brought up in society. They are mentally conditioned to take passive roles. As such they are not too used to initiating a conversation, chatting with a superior or being criticised in front of everyone.
As such, a lot of women find it tough to take an active role in social parties. But this is not the only reason why women are more prone to social anxiety disorder. There are some other reasons as well. Let’s discuss them in the next points.
2. The ‘Corticotropin’ Factor
We all have a chemical called corticotropin that is responsible for regulating the stress response in our body.
Now, women are 2 times more sensitive to this chemical. This implies that women respond to stress quickly biologically. This leads to increased anxiety.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter in the brain. It controls our reaction towards stress and anxiety. A woman’s brain may not process serotonin as quickly as a male’s brain can. This can also be a reason why women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder.
3. Hormonal Changes During Reproductive Events
Kudos to all the women!!! All of you go through so many hormonal changes during reproductive events. Those hormonal changes and the upsurge in oestrogen and progesterone have been linked to anxiety. These factors can even increase the likelihood of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
4. Physical And Mental Abuse
Statistically, women may experience more physical and mental abuse than men. Abuse is again related to an anxiety disorder. Women who encounter sexual abuse may experience an abnormal blood flow in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for emotional processing.
How To Cope With Social Anxiety Disorder
We have already discussed the possible reasons why you may have an anxiety disorder at the later stage of your life. Now, let’s talk about how you can cope with this disorder and lead a normal life.
1. Consult A Therapist In Your Town
A therapist knows the various methods of anxiety treatment. He can analyze your mental health properly and suggest different types of medications and therapies. For instance, he can suggest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is an effective way to deal with situations that trigger anxiety.
Your main challenge is to find a good therapist or psychiatrist in your town. There is no need to ask friends or family. All you need to do is search for a good mental health clinic in your area in Google.
If you live in San Jose, type ‘best mental health clinic in San Jose‘ or ‘best psychiatrist in San Jose.’ Google is smart enough to understand a user’s search query and show the proper results. You can check out the websites of the mental health clinics and book an appointment with the one you like most.
2. Join Support Groups
Share your experience (both problems and successes) with other members in the support groups. They can give you advice on how to deal with the problems. You can depend on them because they are also going through similar situations. Likewise, you can help others when they need your support.
3. Change Your Lifestyle
Drug addiction, alcohol, cold medications, and too much caffeine can aggravate anxiety disorder. If you have this disorder, then ask your therapist and find out if you need to reduce your consumption of these things.
Meditate for 30 minutes during the weekdays. This can help to reduce anxiety disorder symptoms.
Take short breaks in the office so that your stressed mind can get some relief. Practice deep breathing every day.
Don’t neglect an anxiety disorder because it can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and a frail immune system. Treatments options are easily available nowadays. So it’s easy to manage this disorder. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I hope you enjoyed this guest post. If you would like to learn more about meditation, check out my beginners’ guide.
You can also read about my experience of taking a break from alcohol and the positive impact this had on my mental wellbeing and overall anxiety levels.