Social Anxiety Disorder – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia; in actuality, it is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social situation. People with such conditions may worry about acting or appearing visibly anxious, or being viewed as stupid, annoying, or awkward. They always try to avoid social or performance situations, and when they are unable, they feel significant anxiety and distress. Some intense physical symptoms have also been noticed in people with a social anxiety disorder.

Symptoms can include rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, and full-blown attacks when confronting a feared situation. Although they can understand that their fear is unreasonable, and they are powerless against their anxiety.

A number of people (about 15 million) in the United States are suffering from this social condition as Social anxiety is the second most diagnosed anxiety disorder following specific phobia. This condition can be initiated by a teenager.

People with this condition commonly report extreme shyness, but the critical point is that it is not merely shyness but something more.

Signs And Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms


People with social anxiety disorder can experience these (given below) symptoms when performing in front of others.

  • Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach
  • Sweat, blush, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their mind going blank.
  • Find it difficult and scary to be with other people, especially in front of an unknown person, and have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could.
  • Make little eye contact, show a rigid body posture, or speak with an overly soft voice
  • Always be afraid that others will judge them
  • self-conscious in front of other people and feel awkward and embarrassed
  • Please stay away from other people or places where they are.

What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?

This mental condition sometimes runs in families, but there is not any evidence for sure why only individual members of the family experience it when others don’t. Human researches have proved that many parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety. Some reports said that misreading of an individuals’ behavior might be a cause of social anxiety disorder. Underdeveloped social skills can also cause social anxiety.

Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety

For example, people with underdeveloped social skills can feel discouraged after talking with someone unknown and may fear doing it in the future.

Treating Social Anxiety Disorder

Key Points

  • Medical researchers have found that medications work faster, but cognitive behavioral therapy plays the best role and produces long-lasting benefits.
  • Benzodiazepines or beta-blockers are recommended first for people with a specific social phobia.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and one serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are considered the best medication options for the management of generalized social anxiety (GAD).

Psychotherapy

Many medical studies have concluded that CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is often useful and produces better results than other psychotherapy options.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is a medical technique used in people with social anxiety disorder; it works to interfere with how they think about and react in situations that terrify them. Doctors can use this technique separately or as a part of group therapies.

It usually consists of 12 to 16 weekly sessions lasting 1 to 1.5 hours each. In studies, individuals with such conditions often needed at least six to twelve weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy before showing any improvement.

Other Options

There are some additional therapies for the management of social anxiety disorder. These techniques are modified forms of interpersonal treatment that improve the ability to interact and socialize with other peoples.

Medication Options

Some medication options are also available for the management of social anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepines and beta-blockers are the best medication option after SSRI and venlafaxine.

Benzodiazepine

It is a family of certain similar drugs that are known for their calming effects between the human brain and the central nervous system. It boosts the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid and works to change how our brain responds to social conditions.

Beta-blockers

It is a recommended anti-anxiety medication for people with heart diseases. It can help to counter symptoms of social phobia such as sweating, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate.

Valium vs Xanax: What’s the difference?

Both Valium and Xanax are the medications helpful in treating anxiety, comes under the class of benzodiazepine drugs, also called sedatives. Although both the pills work almost similarly, there are notable differences in their side effects and drug interactions. Comparing the efficacy or effectiveness of both drugs can tell the difference.

Names and Strengths –

Valium is the brand name for generic diazepam, while Xanax is the brand name for generic alprazolam. They both are brand name version medicines for anxiety.

Buy Valium Online in the strengths of 2mg, 5mg, and 10mg of diazepam.

Order Xanax Online in the strengths of 0.25mg, 0.50mg, 1mg, and 2mg alprazolam.

Prescription –

Valium and Xanax are two different medications in different strengths. Doctors should prescribe the more suitable one among the two, considering the inter-patient variability.

Patients can buy both medications in the form of pills and liquids. However, doctors prescribe tablet formulation of both the drugs to the adults.

Dosage –

A recommended dosage for an average adult is taking Valium or Xanax one to four times a day, depending upon the intensity of each patient’s condition and as directed by the health care professional.

Effects –

The effects of Valium last around 4 to 6 hours; however, it has a long half-life ranging from 20 to 70 hours. It means Valium can take up to six weeks following the last dose to completely clear off from the body of the user.

The effects of Xanax last for about 5 hours, and its half-life is 11 hours. It can take several days for the Xanax to leave the body of the user altogether.

Working of Valium and Xanax –

Xanax and Valium are benzodiazepines. They both work in the brain to boost neurotransmitters called GABA receptors.

GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is the receptor that is responsible for reducing activities in parts of the brain that control emotions, logic thoughts, memory, and some functions such as breathing.

Xanax and Valium boost the effects of GABA, thus making the muscle relax, reducing anxiety by increasing calmness, and causes drowsiness or lethargy.

Key Facts –

Xanax Valium
Helpful in treating severe anxiety and panic disorder, short term symptoms of anxiety, and depression due to anxiety. Useful for the treatment of less severe anxiety disorder, drug and alcohol withdrawal, seizures, and muscle spasm.
Onset of action is within 15 to 30 minutes of intake, for immediate-release forms. Rapid onset of action within 15 minutes of intake.
Causes dependency Causes dependency
Causes withdrawal symptoms Causes withdrawal symptoms

Side Effects of The Medications –

Since Valium and Xanax work in the same manner, they have almost similar side effects. The akin side effects of both drugs include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Giddiness
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Appetite changes
  • Constipation
  • Sex drive changes
  • Difficulty urinating

The side effects that are common only in Valium use are:

  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Joint pain
  • Increased salivation

The side effects that are common only in Xanax use are:

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight changes
  • Muscle pain

Xanax and Valium also cause some adverse effects. Similar severe side effects include:

  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe skin rashes
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Respiratory depression

Severe side effects of Valium are:

  • Fever
  • Shuffling walk
  • Lasting tremors
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irregular heartbeats

Severe side effects of Xanax are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Memory problems or memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Speech problems such as slurred speech
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Talkativeness
  • Behavior changes
  • Mood swings

Withdrawal Symptoms –

Patients taking Valium or Xanax for a long time or at higher doses can experience withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking them. There can be both physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal.

Symptoms of withdrawal are majorly similar for both drugs, but Xanax can cause more symptoms, or sometimes Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be severe also.

Common signs and symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Sleeping problems or insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Increased anxiety
  • Stomach cramps
  • Feeling of restlessness

Xanax withdrawal causes the occurrence of multiple severe seizures and status epileptics.

Drug Interactions –

Drugs that interact with both Valium and Xanax are:

  • Antihistamines
  • Tagamet
  • Prozac
  • Rifamate and Rifater
  • Nizoral
  • medication for depression
  • medication for seizures
  • oral contraceptives
  • sedatives
  • sleeping pills
  • St. John’s Wort

Drugs that show interaction with Xanax include:

  • Zoloft
  • Brisdelle, Paxil, and Pexeva
  • Luvox
  • Cardene
  • EES and Eryc
  • Cardizem, Cartia XT, and Tiazac
  • Gengraf, Neoral, and Sandimmune
  • antifungal medication
  • Cordarone, Nexterone, and Pacerone
  • Onmel, and Sporanox

Drugs that show interaction with Valium include:

  • Lanoxin
  • Antabuse
  • Rytary, Sinemet, and Stalevo
  • Medicines for Parkinson’s disease
  • Medications for asthma, cold, and allergies
  • Lopressor and Toprol XL
  • muscle relaxants
  • Probalan, and Col-Probenecid
  • Hemangeol, Inderal, and Innopran
  • Zantac
  • Elixophyllin, Theo 24, and Theochron
  • Depakene

Precautions for Valium and Xanax –

Valium and Xanax contraindicate in patients having some conditions. Doctors prescribe these pills to the people who have no apparent risk of severe adverse effects or contraindications.

Valium and Xanax contraindicated in people with:

  • Lung diseases or breathing problems
  • Severe liver or kidney diseases
  • Sleep apnea
  • Muscle weakness
  • History of substance abuse or addiction
  • Previous alcohol intoxication
  • Depression
  • Glaucoma
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast-feeding.