Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting Over Your Social Anxiety for the Holidays

The holiday season is the time where people set up a lot of parties and events to get together. Fun as it may seem for a lot of people, these kinds of gatherings can be very challenging for people suffering from social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety disorder can be a very difficult condition to bear with, since feelings of anxiety can be triggered whenever they are in social gatherings. Their irrational fear of being judged and evaluated in such events can be too much that it causes them to withdraw.

Aside from taking anti-anxiety meds and psychotherapy, there are other ways to make managing social anxiety disorder easier, especially when family and social gatherings are afoot. Here are a few tips to help make social anxiety in holiday parties more bearable:

1.Choose the events you go to
You may feel that you're forced to attend holiday gatherings because everybody's going to be there, but you're not. Party organizers may not understand why you're refusing to attend the party, but know that forcing yourself to attend such parties unprepared can only exacerbate the anxiety you'll feel once you get there.
2.Check the attendance list
It may sound weird asking the organizer about the other people who are going to attend the party, but having a brief knowledge of who's coming and what they're interested in can make blending in during the party easier for you.
3.Arrive at the party early
Arriving at a party earlier that most guests saves you the trouble of having to receive a lot of weird stares for coming in late. For anxiety sufferers, receiving such stares can be discomforting to the point of inducing an attack.
4.Do not use alcohol to gain courage
A glass of wine or a sip of spiked eggnog may help you get over party jitters, but drinking too much can have a negative effect on your interacting skills.

The holidays may prove to be the most difficult time of the year for most social anxiety disorder suffers, but with the help of supportive friends and family, along with an effective anxiety coping technique, sufferers need not stay in one corner during parties.

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