It’s normal to feel nervous in some social situations. For example, giving a presentation may cause that feeling of butterflies in the stomach. But in social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions become difficult because you fear being scrutinized or judged by others. Social anxiety or social phobia is an extreme fear of being judged by others, evaluated negatively or being rejected in social situations or performances or a condition of extreme self-consciousness.

People with a social anxiety disorder may be worried about acting or visibly anxious e. g blushing or stumbling over the word. As a result, they feel difficulty in talking to others even sometimes to his close friends and family. Many people with social anxiety suffer physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating and body trembling. It is important to note that social anxiety is not about shyness, it is something much more severe.

The idea that social phobia was a separate entity from other phobias came from the British psychiatrist Isaac Marks in the 1960s. This was accepted by the American Psychiatric Association. Physical, sexual or emotional abuse, bullying or teasing by peers, family conflicts, domestic violence, and divorce,  death of or desertion by a parent are the causes of social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety may occur if a person suffers from depression for a long time without being treated. Other causes may be a hormonal imbalance in the brain or maybe it is inherited in some people. It is estimated that about 7% of the total population suffer from some form of social anxiety at present.

The lifetime prevalence rate for developing social anxiety is 13 -14%. We come to a point after knowing about a social anxiety disorder that it may lead a sufferer towards negative paths such as suicidal thoughts or too much consumption of alcohol to make themselves relax. Proper medication and counselling can help the person to get rid of it  Some therapies suggested by psychologist such as meditation has a powerful impact to renew the diseased portion of the brain in just a few months.

I myself have observed a case of social anxiety in my family. Due to some domestic issue, he, a 23 years old man fell ill with this disorder. When he developed the initial symptoms e. g avoid talking to others or suddenly start feeling embarrassed in social situations, his family started making fool of him.No body even tried a little to understand his situation.

Everybody started taunting him that he was a looser even the children, following their elders started teasing him, calling him abnormal Here I say it is the tragedy of our society that we don’t take psychological problems as serious as physical problems, maybe due to the lack of knowledge. Gradually, the situation became severe. He left his every activity. He started smoking many times a day. He went to an extreme self-consciousness stage that whenever two or more persons talked in front of him, he, considering them taunting him and using bad words for him started weeping and sometimes started beating them.

His parents, due to the lack of information and illiteracy took him to peers. And yes almost 80% of our public, when going through this type of situation, took their loved ones to the peers or any other Scholar because here it is our tragedy that we consider all the psychological problems as an impact of evil spirit or some ghost. Following the same custom, his parents took him to the Peers. I greatly agree that glorify Allah can give us a lot of internal pieces but it is unfair to ignore the proper treatment too because we are living in the 21st century We should acknowledge the power of treatment too.

Treatment and prayer Of Allah are both important. Due to illiteracy and shortage of proper treatment, he (a poor) soul is completely abnormal now. After he lost his senses his parents took him to the psychiatrist when they found himself completely helpless,  but,  in vain. He consumed a lot of medicines but due to abnormality, he couldn’t follow the therapies. Here I want to say that because of delay in treatment you can lose your loved ones completely.

Only delayed treatment can result in serious outcomes. Now, who is responsible for his abnormality? Why we don’t pay heed to others behaviour if we find some abnormal behaviour in their attitude. ? The reason is that we don’t take psychological problems as important as physical problems. It’s the problem of our society that if we notice something odd in our children, they start blaming their thoughts.

We don’t take it seriously just because we think it our insult to take our children or relatives to Psychiatrist or Psychologist due to the fear that others will consider their loved ones as abnormal. Even here an adult person is not willing to go to a psychologist if they develop any of the odd behaviour. It is so pain full to suffer from any psychological problem.

Psychological problems are more severe than physical problems because a sufferer can not explain what he actually feels inside. In fact, psychological problems cut a person into pieces inside. It is the worst thing of our society that when someone told us that he is facing something odd or other symptoms of psychological problems, we blame that his thoughts are negative or he is psycho or we starts highlighting his problems instead of showing sympathy for him or making them feel comfortable.

Even according to me, listens to such persons carefully and saying them comfortable word releases a greater extent of stress from them. It is our duty as humanity that if we discover something abnormal in others like change in emotions, we should counsel them and asked them to go for psychologist and we should behave in a manner to make them feel comfort liking giving too much honour and respect so that they don’t even think themselves inferior to others.

We should spread awareness about psychological problems through social media and many other sources. Parents should ask their children to share every problem with them. We should share our problems with loved ones so that nothing remains inside to burst in the form of a psychological problem later in life.   .It is my humble request to all of you please listen carefully your loved ones share their problems with you and soothe them. So that no one suffering from psychological disorder tries to choose the negative path.

Submitted by “Summan Zahid