Health and Wellness: What is Social Anxiety Disorder and how is it treated?

CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson looked at the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, what it is and how can it be treated?

She spoke to Christine Lochner, an associate professor and co-director of the MRC Anxiety and Stress Disorders Research Unit at Stellenbosch University.

According to Lochner, Social Anxiety Disorder is overwhelming and disabling fear of scrutiny, embarrassment and humiliation in everyday social situations.

Listen to the full conversation below:

She says it impairs the ability to function in social situations, making those who suffer from SAD avoid being potentially happy.

SAD is also associated with avoidance, the sufferers sometimes find is easy to avoid social settings even avoiding phone calls, she says.

Avoidance keeps the disorder intact but the problem is the less you are exposed to these problems the harder it becomes

Christine Lochner, an associate professor and co-director of the MRC Anxiety and Stress Disorders Research Unit at Stellenbosch University.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

  • Trembling
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Finding it hard to work while people are watching
  • Palpitations, sweating, dry throat and mouth when in a company of many people
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