Social anxiety, also called social phobia, is one of the most common mental health problems in the world today. This type of anxiety can be experienced by almost anyone at one point or another, though it usually starts during the teenage years. By definition, social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that causes excessive fear, emotional discomfort, anxiety, or fear in social settings. Underlying social anxiety is the fear of being judged or scrutinized by others. People with social anxiety may worry about being viewed as awkward, stupid, or boring in social or performance situations, leading to feelings of embarrassment, inadequacy, inferiority, humiliation, and depression. Typically, they may experience difficulties making new friends, talking to people, and attending social gatherings. People with this disorder also tend to avoid social situations, and when a situation cannot be avoided, they experience overwhelming anxiety. Millions of people around the globe suffer from this condition every day.
How does social anxiety differ from other forms of anxiety?
While most people think social anxiety is a form of shyness, it is certainly not. Shyness is a condition that occurs in the short-term and doesn’t cause impairment or interfere with a person’s life and relationships. Social anxiety is a persistent problem that affects an individual’s everyday life, self-confidence, relationships, and work or school life. It is also different from general anxiety disorder, which is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about lots of different things. Also, people with social anxiety do not experience “panic attacks,” which are common with people who have panic disorders. Unlike other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder is irrational as it is not based on fact and doesn’t make rational sense.
Misconceptions About Social Anxiety
There are many misconceptions associated with social anxiety disorder. For instance, most people believe that social anxiety is just shyness and that it isn’t that common. The truth is, social anxiety is more than just shyness, and it’s a common disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Also, most people think that social anxiety is simply being nervous. This is not true because social anxiety brings with it many symptoms, one of them being nervousness. Another common misconception about social anxiety is that it is a problem that you just have to learn to live with. The truth is, social anxiety disorder is a serious mental problem, and it can escalate to chronic levels in those who don’t seek treatment.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Society anxiety brings with it a collection of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms such as:
- Rapid heat-beat
- Dizziness and Nausea
- Muscle tension or twitches
- Difficulty speaking
- Stomach trouble
- Trembling or shaking
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive anxiety and fear
- Negative emotional cycles
- Panic attacks (in some cases)
- Dysmorphia concerning part of the body (usually the face)
- Avoiding social situations or needing to drink before facing social situations.
- Avoiding certain activities for fear of being negatively evaluated
- Becoming isolated
- A need to bring a friend along with you wherever you go.
The Common Social Anxiety Triggers Include:
- Meeting new people
- Speaking in public
- Eating in public
- Being the center of attention
- Being teased or criticized
- Starting conversations
- Making eye contact
- Being watched while doing something
Long Term Effects of Chronic Social Anxiety
Long-term social anxiety causes the brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of headaches and depression. Other possible long-term effects of social anxiety include increased risk of heart disease, lowered immune system causing frequent illness, gastrointestinal disorders, and memory problems. Many people who struggle with chronic social anxiety tend to develop substance abuse problems in the long term. They may also find it harder to develop personal relationships.
The safest and most effective medications used to treat social anxiety are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Examples of SSRIs prescribed for people with this disorder include paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox, Luvox CR), and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem). Research suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can ease symptoms of moderate to severe social anxiety. Besides, they are relatively safe and typically cause fewer side effects as compared to other types of antidepressants.Possible side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may include:
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Nervousness, agitation or restlessness
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for social anxiety disorder. This type of psychotherapeutic treatment permanently changes the neural pathway associations in the brain. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on helping people with social anxiety to understand their thoughts and feelings. It emphasizes changing how a person views a situation, and unlike other types of treatments, it takes a problem-specific and goal-oriented approach to improve an individual’s state of mind.
Can CBD Help to Treat Social Anxiety?
A growing body of research suggests that CBD can help to reduce symptoms of social anxiety. A study done in 2010 indicates that CBD changes blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of social anxiety, causing users to feel better and change the way the brain responds to anxiety. The results suggest that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system to produce its own cannabinoids. It also allows down the breakdown of endocannabinoids by inhibiting FAAH enzyme, so they can stay in the body longer. Simply put, CBD boosts the production of endocannabinoids, which help to treat anxiety.
What Are the Benefits of Using CBD Tinctures Instead of Pharmaceuticals?
A growing body of research shows that CBD tinctures are more effective in reducing the symptoms of social anxiety as compared to pharmaceuticals. The most common reason why Hemp Oil tinctures are a good substitute for pharmaceuticals is their all-natural appeal.
Made from naturally occurring compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can cause fewer side effects as compared to pharmaceutical drugs, which are made from foreign synthetic chemicals. They are considerably safe for everyone as they do not contain THC, which is known to have psychoactive properties.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed to treat one thing, CBD tinctures treat a vast array of anxiety disorders, like social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. Hemp Oils also have a rich nutritional profile, making them more effective in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders.
The affordability and availability of CBD tinctures make them a great alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. CBD tinctures are readily available, and the price isn’t an obstacle. CBD tinctures can be used in various ways, including vaping and topical applications. This makes them the best option for people with digestive system problems such as gastrointestinal upset. In addition, they can be applied directly to the affected areas, and they have the fastest uptake. This means they work effectively for treating the acute onset of social anxiety.
How Are Tinctures Made?
CBD tinctures are made by soaking the leaves, flowers, and stalk of the cannabis plant in high-proof grain alcohol or a non-alcoholic carrier liquid, such as olive oil and coconut oil. The alcohol or carrier liquid pulls out the active ingredients in the cannabis plant parts, concentrating them as a liquid. After that, apply low heat for some time to allow the active compounds in cannabis to infuse into the alcohol or carrier liquid, much of which is then boiled off.
Each person is different, so there’s no universally accepted rule when it comes to CBD tinctures dosage. However, it’s recommended to start with a 0.5 ml amount under the tongue held between 30 seconds and one minute before bedtime. Then, the dosage can be increased gradually until reaching the regular dosage amount, which seems to be about 0.9 ml. However, dosage amounts may also vary depending on weight and the severity of symptoms. Persons weighing more than 230 lbs. and exhibiting severe symptoms can use dosage amounts up to 1 ml.
How Does CBD Relieve Anxiety?
CBD has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of social anxiety. The body produces endocannabinoids which bind to receptors in brain cells to reduce social anxiety. CBD works by modulating the actions of endocannabinoids and potentiating the effects of stress hormones by enhancing the activity of the receptors unto which the hormones bind.
Besides, CBD boosts the production of endocannabinoids and helps to restore balance to the endocannabinoid system by preventing the overstimulation of CB1 receptors. Chronic social anxiety can damage neurons in the long-term. CBD encourages neural regeneration to counterbalance the neurons damaged caused by chronic social anxiety.Overall, social anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders affecting millions of people around the world. The good news is that the disorder can be treated with medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. CBD tinctures have also been proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of social anxiety. So if you have it, there’s hope.
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