Triumph Over Shyness: Tips to Beat Social Anxiety Disorder

<b>Triumph Over Shyness: Tips to Beat Social Anxiety Disorder</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Suffering from much more than shyness, people with social anxiety disorder experience severe anxiety in social encounters, often accompanied by a racing heart, shaking, sweating, blushing, nausea, shortness of breath, or other physical symptoms. Most people with the disorder avoid the types of social situations — meeting with coworkers, attending family events, even talking on the phone — that cause them extreme mental and physical distress.

This anxiety disorder can prevent people from participating fully in life. They often become dependent on alcohol if they try to self-medicate. And social anxiety disorder frequently occurs with other anxiety disorders, as well as depression. Studies show that people with depression and social anxiety disorder have an increased rate of suicide attempts.

The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) offers hope in the form of a new self-help book. “Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder” (second edition), by Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, and John R. Walker, PhD, offers tips for handling a socially anxious situation:

* When you are feeling anxious, remind yourself to focus on others.

* Make it your goal to listen carefully to what the other person has to say.

* Think about how that person feels about what he is saying: Is this a situation involving strong emotion?

* Often your attention will move back to yourself. Just accept anxious thoughts and physical sensations and direct your attention back to the other person.

* Don’t spend much time planning or rehearsing what you will say next. This will distract you from listening to the other person.

* Don’t try to figure out what others are thinking about you.

The book is now available through the ADAA bookstore at www.adaa.org. To learn more about social anxiety disorder, visit www.adaa.org/socialanxietydisorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder vs. General Anxiety About the Economy

<b>Generalized Anxiety Disorder vs. General Anxiety About the Economy</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Worries about finances have long been a leading cause of anxiety for Americans. When asked what stressed people the most in a recent online poll at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America Web site (www.adaa.org), 45 percent responded “personal finances.” They have good reason to feel stress. The U.S. Department of Labor has been reporting record numbers of people receiving unemployment benefits.

Even among those who feel the economy is improving, a majority named it as a source of their stress. Another ADAA online poll confirms that sentiment: Nearly 77 percent said the economic downturn has caused a moderate amount to “a lot of stress.”

If so many people share such deep stress and worry about their bank balances than they did before this financial freefall, does that mean they all have an anxiety disorder? Does it mean anxiety disorders are on the rise? The answer: No.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful and uncertain situations. It’s your body telling you to stay alert and protect yourself, in this case to watch your spending, try to save for an emergency, work to keep your job or consult a trusted financial expert.

However, you may have generalized anxiety disorder if you worry about the economy or your finances for many hours every day, you can’t sleep or perform your usual tasks and you’re aware that your fears are irrational.

Also known as GAD, this type of anxiety disorder differs greatly from the normal anxiety we may feel about the economy or any other stressful event. GAD is not triggered by a specific situation: The world doesn’t need to experience an economic downfall for someone to have GAD. Even in the best of times, GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population, in any given year, and women are twice as likely to be affected.

People with generalized anxiety disorder experience persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about issues like money, health, family or work for six months or longer. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle, which they feel is beyond their control. Physical symptoms of GAD may include fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, edginess, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea.

Help can be found by visiting the ADAA Web site (www.adaa.org), where you can find resources to help manage anxiety, find a local therapist, receive an e-newsletter for people living with anxiety disorders or purchase self-help books.