Essay Sample on the Effects of Social Anxiety

Published: 2022-11-10
Essay Sample on the Effects of Social Anxiety
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Anxiety disorder
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 957 words
8 min read

There are myriad forms of mental illness existing in the current world ranging from depression and addiction to schizophrenia and PTSD. All of them have their own varied causes and effects with some resulting in little to no effect of their victims' daily operations while others causing the victims to engage in activities that end their lives and even those around them. Anxiety is one of the major disorders that victim suffers in their daily operations. It is a mental state where the victim is almost or always worried, anxious, and self-conscious over every occurrence. The paper, therefore, focuses on social anxiety and the effects it has on its victims.

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Social anxiety is a form of anxiety disorder that causes the victim to have a constant irrational fear of a social set up, being judged by others, being inadequate and even embarrassing themselves among others. The disorder shows a persistent fear of one or more social situations where embarrassment may arise and the fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation or the underlying cultural norms. Some of the activities that trigger social anxiety include public speaking, meeting of new people, parting and clubbing awkward situations, reading out loud, starting conversations, talking to authority figures and public performance among others. The typical social situations can also be grouped into those that incorporate interaction, observation and performance (Farmer, Antonina and Todd). While it's common to feel anxious to perform each of the above activities, people with social anxiety worry overly and can even practice for weeks in preparation for the anticipated social situation. In most cases, they fear that they may say or perform (involuntarily or in any other manner) something that they view as embarrassing or humiliating such as looking anxious, sweating, shaking, blushing or appearing stupid, boring or incompetent. In this case, such people attempt to walk away from the most feared situations.

  • There exists three effects of Social Anxiety: Social, Emotional and Physical stress.
  • The first effect of Social Anxiety is Social Stress.
  • Social Stress is an effect of Social Anxiety.
  • The second effect of Social Anxiety is Emotional Stress.
  • Emotional Stress is an effect of Social Anxiety.
  • The third effect of Social Anxiety is Physical Stress.
  • Physical Stress is an effect of Social Anxiety.

To conclude, the social, emotional and physical stress factors have a significant impact on social anxiety. Social stress originates from one's relationship with others and the social environment at large. It originates from the appraisal theory of emotion which assumes that stress arises when a person views a situation as personally relevant and remarks that he/she does not have the necessary resources to handle the specific situation effectively. The three main categories of social stressors include abrupt events i.e. life events, severe life changes that require quick adaptations i.e. sexual assault, persistent events such as chronic strains that require one to adapt over a period of time i.e. unemployment and divorce (Klumbies, Elisabeth et al). Chronic stress results in behavioural, emotional and physiological adjustments that can expose the victim to a greater risk of developing a mental disorder as well as a physical illness. Social stress arises from one's micro-environment such as family ties and macro-environment such as the existing hierarchical societal structures. It's typically the most prevalent type of stressor that people experience in their daily lives and has a more significant impact on the victims compared to the other types of stressors. It manifests on the manner in which the victim interacts with people and the environment at large when under social anxiety.

Emotional stress is processed by 'inhibition-implosion'-dimension, which refers to the collapse or cause for the inward collapse in a violent manner due to external pressure that has been modified by dispositional factors that can either be innate, from one's personality and socialization among others. Emotional stress contributes to fears, resentment, frustrations, anger, sadness, grief and bereavement, all of which have a direct link to social anxiety and in one way or another negatively affect one's performance in a social set up. Emotional stress manifests in a myriad of ways that include depression, anxiety and hostility which not only results in social anxiety but also contributes to physical stress when body parts are affected i.e. the spine. Emotional stress elements manifest in the victim's emotions during social anxiety when the victims constantly worry, have an intense fear of being negatively judged, feel inferior around authority figures or are extremely reluctance to express their views or initiate conversations.

The physical stress factors that result from social anxiety produce a strong and instantaneous physical response that is unpleasant and difficult to control. Physical stress symptoms that manifest in the victim of social anxiety include elevated heart rate, blushing, sweating of the palms, dry mouth, tightening of the chest of choking sensation, stumbling of speech, muscle pain and tension especially in the upper body and slowed thinking processes that include the inability to focus or concentrate (Dawans et al.). These reactions, however, occur in social encounters that most people or attendees would consider harmless. Severe responses of social anxiety reflect an absurd fear of being rejected, judged or laughed by others.

Works cited

Farmer, Antonina S., and Todd B. Kashdan (2016). "Stress Sensitivity And Stress Generation In Social Anxiety Disorder: A Temporal Process Approach." Journal of Abnormal Psychology 124.1 (2015): 102-114. Web. 22 Jan. 2019.

Klumbies, Elisabeth et al (2014). "The Reaction To Social Stress In Social Phobia: Discordance Between Physiological And Subjective Parameters." PLoS ONE 9.8 (2014): e105670. Web. 22 Jan. 2019.

Von Dawans, B., Trueg, A., Kirschbaum, C., Fischbacher, U., & Heinrichs, M. (2018). Acute social and physical stress interact to influence social behavior: The role of social anxiety. PLOS ONE, 13(10), e0204665. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0204665

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