There are two types of people in the world. The introvert ones, who naturally prefer their own solitude than being one in the crowd. And the other one, the extrovert, who naturally and easily mingle with others. Between the two, we can say that the more weird ones to associate with are the introverts. Why? It’s because they are so silent that often they show no emotions. Not to mention we hardly see them hanging out with anyone and if they are, it’s only with a very small circle of friends. That’s why sometimes we couldn’t help but label them as nerds.
“Introverts are word economists in a society suffering from verbal diarrhea.” ~ Michaela Chung
But nerd or not, have you ever wondered why they act like that? Their extreme shyness and preference for solitude might not be because they are introvert by nature. There might be an underlying problem that makes them act that way, which is Social Anxiety Disorder.
Here are the signs you need to look out if you suspect that your friend or someone you know has a Social Anxiety Disorder.
Worrying Too much
Worrying over something is normal. It’s a sign that we cared about something. However, worrying too much to the point that you can’t sleep is absurd. Most people with SAD worry too much. Often, they worry over things that are considered simple and trivial. Their thoughts cannot stop bugging them. You often see them tilting their heads from side to side, their hearts pounding, and they sweat profusely. Sometimes they also bite their nails subconsciously or absentmindedly.
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George F. Burns
Since people with SAD constantly worry too much, they also suffer from lack of sleep or, in a medical term, insomnia. As if that isn’t enough, most of them toss and turn during sleep. Due to worrying too much, their subconscious mind adapt the disorder. They are chronically awake since their mind cannot brush off worry about certain things.
If you see your family member always suffering from insomnia, it may be the perfect opportunity for them to get a medical checkup to diagnose whether they’re suffering from SAD. If not, another underlying health condition might be the culprit for their lack of sleep.
Because they worry so much, they also developed these irrational fear. These irrational fears include fear of rejection, fear of insulting someone, fear of doing something wrong, fear of being the center of attention. This drives them to avoid any social functions or gathering because they fear that it may trigger them from doing something wrong. And when they can’t avoid the crowd, they would start shaking profusely, their heart pounding loudly, their hands shaking tremendously, sometimes having an upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
People with SAD are also prone to regress it into PTSD, especially if someone recently experienced a traumatic situation. A sudden death of someone they loved or being involved in a recent accident may cause a major blow to them. Not only will SAD victims suffer from insomnia, but they may also have flashback episodes recollecting the horrible memories they’ve had.
People with Social Anxiety Disorder might be difficult to deal with, but we need to remember that what they need is our unconditional support. We need to be understanding enough to sympathize what they are experiencing.
We need to be by their side now, show them our love, care, attention, support, and compassion. They need someone to lean on to cope up with the trials and challenges they’re facing. If not, we fear that they might opt for suicide and it might be too late for us now to save them.