Relationship Between Alcoholism and Social Anxiety: Social Anxiety Quiz
Table of Contents
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a form of social phobia that causes feelings of worry, distress, and avoidance before, during, and after social interactions. Seemingly simple things — such as eating in front of others, talking to colleagues, or speaking during a job interview — can be challenging for those with SAD. Often, they feel constantly scrutinized and judged by others. Sometimes, those with SAD understand that they have irrational fears and anxiety surrounding social interaction, but they feel powerless to ignore those anxieties.
Social anxiety is not the same as a fear of public speaking or general shyness. It’s a long-term, anxiety-driven mental disorder characterized by an avoidance of social situations and fear or worry of appearing anxious, awkward, boring, unintelligent, or nervous during social interactions. Many people with social anxiety face significant challenges related to their disorder. They may turn down jobs due to the interview process. They may stop visiting friends and family. Some people even withdraw completely and stay inside for the majority of their lives.
Social Anxiety Quiz
Do you have social anxiety? Most people feel slight anxiety when speaking in front of others, attending an important interview, or discussing certain subjects in crowds. But those with social anxiety disorder have an anxiety disorder that negatively impacts their life. We’ve developed a robust Social Anxiety Quiz to help you learn more about your own social anxiety issues, and whether you may have a disorder that needs attention.
Who is the Social Anxiety Quiz For?
This social anxiety self-diagnostic quiz is for those who feel like they may have a social anxiety disorder. You may also be interested in taking this quiz if you have an alcohol use disorder — since these two disorders are often related.
Signs and Symptoms
The “symptoms” of SAD are multifaceted. Many people with SAD overanalyze everything they do during social situations. They may feel awkward when talking, worry about constantly humiliating themselves, and assume that every social interaction will go poorly. After the interaction, they may overanalyze the situation and try to find flaws. Some people with SAD develop a full-blown phobia of social interaction, often avoiding places with people or shutting down altogether. These emotional and behavioral issues can trigger physical symptoms — such as a rapid heart rate and sweating.
People who have SAD may suffer from a wide variety of behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms. These include:
- Avoiding social situations due to feelings of humiliation or awkwardness
- Spending time overanalyzing social situations or spending hours after social situations worrying about perceived flaws or mistakes
- Developing a phobia of all social interaction
- Isolation or completely shutting down
- Substance abuse
- Anxiety during social interactions
- Intense guilt over past conversations
- Feelings of anger when forced to socialize
- Fear of upcoming social interactions (imagined or real)
- Dysmorphia (extreme self-consciousness about their appearance)
- Worrying about every upcoming social situation
- Feelings of rejection
- Awkwardness during casual encounters
- Feelings of shame before, after, and during social interactions
- Panic attacks
- Rapid heart rate (also called tachycardia)
- Blushing or sweating
- Panic attacks
- Shaky voice
- Muscle tension
- Shallow or fast breathing
Many of the symptoms of social anxiety mimic the symptoms of other anxiety and mood disorders. Generally, those with social anxiety have symptoms that can be directly traced to social interactions. It is normal to feel some anxiety surrounding some social situations. However, those with a social anxiety disorder will experience intense behavioral, physical, and emotional symptoms when performing simple social interactions, such as:
- Asking questions
- Answering questions
- Shaking hands
- Attending a job interview
- Talking on the phone
- Using the restroom (in public)
- Going into small, medium, or large crowds
- Eating (in public)
While most instances of SAD appear after the age of 13, some people develop it earlier. As a child, symptoms of SAD may include:
- Temper tantrums
People with SAD may only have symptoms during specific types of social interactions, such as eating in public or when around big crowds. In extreme cases, a person may feel overwhelmed by even the smallest interactions and completely withdraw into themselves.
Social anxiety disorder is incredibly common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety impacts:
(note: we can put these in bubble lines like in your favorite example in the military veteran part to help contextualize just how many people this really does impact)
- 12.1 percent of all adults at some point in their lives
- Twice as many women as men
- Around 7.1 percent of the population each year
In fact, social anxiety is the most common anxiety disorder (outside of specific phobias) in the world. Some 15 million people struggle with social anxiety. While many people with social anxiety try to live a normal life, some have anxiety so severe that it affects their ability to stay employed and function on a day-to-day basis.
Interview data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) suggests that nearly 30 percent of those that suffer from social anxiety have “serious” symptoms on the Sheehan Disability Scale. This scale has subjects rate the extent to which social anxiety is impacting their personal and professional lives. A score of three is serious, which means the anxiety is completely disrupting their lives and negatively affecting their ability to work, socialize, and enjoy their lives.
Social anxiety disorder is medically recognized. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies social anxiety disorder as an illness under the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) as both an adult and childhood disorder⁶. SAD is also part of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
There are multiple tests and methodologies therapists and medical professionals utilize to diagnose SAD. In the United States, the DSM-5 criteria is often used to diagnose mental disorders. To get diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, a person needs to have an ongoing (over 6 months) social anxiety issue that disrupts their life.
If you are concerned you have social anxiety, you should schedule an appointment with an approved therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, or medical team. There are very effective treatments for social anxiety, including:
Please note: benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Tranexene are highly addictive. You should discuss this with your doctor if you are prescribed this medication to treat an anxiety disorder. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we strongly urge against regular usage of benzodiazepines. We believe the cons strongly outweigh the pros. And we have helped thousands of people overcome their crippling benzodiazepine addictions.
You Deserve to Feel Better
If you are struggling with social anxiety disorder (SAD), you deserve treatment. Unfortunately, many of those suffering fail to find treatment due to a fear of the social aspect of therapy and treatment.
Don’t fight social anxiety disorder alone. Get in touch with a therapist to find real help today. If you are simultaneously struggling with a substance abuse issue, contact our clinic to get real help.
Alcohol Abuse and Social Anxiety
Around 20 percent of those who suffer from social anxiety also suffer from alcohol dependence. Often, alcohol is used as a form of self-medication for anxiety, which can lead to crippling addiction and long-term substance abuse patterns. Current research suggests alcohol does not improve social anxiety. Instead, it causes further anxiety, depression, and anger issues, while also causing physical and mental addiction that can destroy lives and deteriorate health.
Alcohol is a depressant. It interacts with your central nervous system (CNS), and impacts how your brain functions while intoxicated. In the short term, alcohol causes symptoms such as coordination issues, drowsiness, and lowered inhibitions. In the long term, alcohol abuse can destroy your liver, heart, brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. It can also create long-term emotional and behavioral issues that can be permanent.
People who abuse alcohol in an effort to self-medicate against social anxiety are very likely to display classical symptoms of alcoholism combined with symptoms of social anxiety. Alcohol is not a medication for social anxiety.
And it can not effectively treat anxiety disorders. Thus, many people will experience a broad range of physical, emotional, and behavioral signs that point towards alcohol abuse and social anxiety. These include:
- An inability to limit your alcohol intake
- Giving up on hobbies
- Cutting off friends and family
- Destroying relationships
- Failing to fulfill obligations
- Performing poorly at work
- Declining social engagements in order to drink alcohol
- Continuing to drink despite knowing these issues
- Spending a significant amount of your disposable (or non-disposable) income on alcohol
- Failing to pay important bills to purchase alcohol
- A strong desire to cut down on your alcohol intake, but an inability to put that desire into action
- Constantly thinking about alcohol or wanting to quit alcohol
- Intense emotional outbursts such as crying or anger
- Needing to drink to feel emotionally stable
- Trying to convince yourself you are not addicted to alcohol
- Fast heart rate
- Shaking or trembling (when not drinking)
- Blackouts or memory loss
Those with SAD are more likely to develop alcohol use issues, such as binge drinking. Around one in four U.S. adults engage in binge drinking — which requires your blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels to hit 0.08 g/dL or higher. Of these, 25 percent do so weekly. According to the CDC, binge drinking increases the risks of emergency room visits, motor vehicle accidents, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), alcohol poisoning, burns, falls, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer, liver disease, memory issues, learning problems, and unintended pregnancies.
People who have social anxiety and abuse alcohol also often develop Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The DSM-V considered AUD to happen when someone drinks compulsively, loses control over alcohol use patterns, and experiences negative emotions both when and when not drinking.
Twenty percent of people with social anxiety develop AUD. Each year, one-third of those with AUD attempt to quit drinking. Around one-quarter will successfully stop drinking for at least one year. Quitting drinking isn’t easy. Addiction is a chronic, long-lasting condition. For some, quitting alcohol may take multiple attempts, and that’s perfectly normal. Sometimes, it takes a new approach, multiple treatments, and lifestyle changes to successfully quit drinking. And those changes don’t happen overnight.
Newer treatments and cutting-edge rehab techniques are helping more people quit their addictions each day. Everlast Recovery Centers utilizes cutting-edge treatments and best-in-class therapists to help you kick your alcohol addiction for good. Our therapists understand the intricacies associated with dual disorders (such as social anxiety disorder and alcoholism). Mental health disorders and alcoholism can feed into each other. You need to wage a war on two fronts. We’re here to help. Contact us to learn how we can help you live a better, healthier, and happier life.
Battling Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is incredibly challenging to battle. Those suffering from alcohol addiction often find themselves spiraling downward. When you combine social anxiety with alcohol addiction, finding a way out can seem impossible. But you aren’t alone.
Each year, millions of Americans go through substance abuse treatment, and many of them suffer from mental health conditions like social anxiety disorder. Having SAD may make you more likely to consume alcohol, but it doesn’t make you less likely to successfully complete treatment and live a normal, healthy life.
Many people with AUD find the 12-step program to be a helpful and community-driven way to eliminate alcohol from their lives. Often, this program can also help alleviate symptoms of social anxiety and build long and meaningful relationships.
Get Help Today With Everlast Recovery
Are you suffering from social anxiety and alcohol abuse? This all-too-common combination of disorders impacts millions of Americans. It can be challenging to quit alcohol when you have social anxiety, and you may feel like the two disorders feed into one another. For those with social anxiety, alcohol may be a form of self-medication. They may believe they cannot function without it.
You can quit. And alcohol is not helping you battle anxiety. Get in contact with the qualified clinical team and medical staff at Everlast Recovery Centers to learn how our state-of-the-art treatments and centers can help you kick your addiction for good. Battling alcoholism or social anxiety disorder is tough. Battling them at the same time may feel impossible. But it isn’t. We can help. Everlast Recovery Centers has decades of experience guiding people through therapy and addiction. We’re ready for you.
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