View Full Version : How do social anxiety and general anxiety disorders differ?
07-17-2009, 12:40 PM
I always thought social anxiety was just like a branch of general anxiety disorder, but reading a bit on this forum made wonder: is social anxiety an acutal, seperate disorder? If so, how do social anxiety and other types of anxiety disorders differ?
Also, a couple of months ago I had a psychiatrist appointment to address my significant/dehabilitating anxiety. But, ironically, my anxiety prevented me from communicating a lot of important detail. The appointment was so awkward for me that I couldn't help it. Anyways, back to the point: I ended up being, I believe, diagnosed with either general anxiety disorder or just unspecific anxiety and was prescribed 50mg Zoloft (I'm 16.) My question behind all of the rambling: if social anxiety is a truly seperated disorder, could that be why the Zoloft is ineffective.
The psychiatrist suggests increasing the dosage, but I want to make sure I'm taking the right medication in the first place. I've never personally loved the idea of meds to solve my problems, my feel very strongly that what I have is social anxiety. It's destorying me.
Haha, sorry for the excessive explaining - I have trouble getting to the point ;)
07-17-2009, 09:18 PM
I think that social anxiety disorder can be thought of as a separate disorder but it can be a small step sometimes between fear of being around people and fear of going outside. Myself, I love being around people once I'm actually around them. It's the anticipation before that can be worse. Do you have trouble around big groups, small groups, individuals? What kinds of situations are the worst for you? You know, I used to be nervous about speaking in front of groups. I was afraid of messing up. One thing that helped me in this regard was that something my teacher said. He said you really need to project and talk directly to the audience. I asked "why?" He said that you actually need to talk directly to them because most of the time - I'll repeat, most of the time, people in the audience are not even really listening. Now apply that to social anxiety, you are afraid that people will judge you or make fun of you or think you are strange but here's the good news - most of those people don't really think about you that much. Most people just want to be friendly and good natured deep down. Many people are worried about themselves. Our society is so very competitive these days that half the people out there are walking basket cases. Give yourself a break and understand that most people really don't care if you are a little rough in social situations.
I was wondering about your Zoloft medication. How long did you take it? I can attest that it really helps for social anxiety disorder if you give it a couple of weeks.
07-31-2009, 04:35 AM
You will share characteristics, such as a tendency to worry and anticipate the worst, an inability to control anxiety and trouble sleeping, with GAD. Your anxiety, however, is always triggered by social and performance situations. In addition, you know that your anxiety is irrational and out of proportion to the event that triggers it.When you suffer with GAD, you may fear embarrassment in front of others, but it is not your main focus. As an example, consider a professional athlete with each of these disorders: The athlete with GAD may worry excessively about his ability to compete and provide for his family as well as his physical health in this way, his anxiety is very broad in scope. On the other hand, the athlete with SAD will also worry excessively, but the worry will be focused on the anticipation of these competitions, where he will be evaluated.
08-06-2009, 01:10 PM
The way I see things, anxiety disorder is anxiety disorder. It does not matter what you have a problem with. Social anxiety just means that you have problems with social situations (as opposed to heights, elevators, or airplanes - unless you have these fears in addition to social fears), and that the resulting stress is sufficient to cause anxiety symptoms. I think that a BIG problem is the tendency of the mental health community to name things like this in such a way that suggests separate disorders. It all tends to make things sound MUCH worse and more intractible than they REALLY are (which, of course, just makes the whole problem even worse). By the way, did you know that there is something called 'math anxiety' out there? Is this seriously a separate condition altogether?
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