May Worsen Symptoms Of IBS

There are many causes-of-social-anxiety-disorder, and all of them can exacerbate IBS.

Like any psychological condition, social anxiety had many factors, and some can be traced back to childhood. Even knowing what they are does not help in dealing with them.

Some causes may include, but are not limited to:

a) A traumatic childhood.

Abuse, parents with alcohol or drug problems, parents who argue, fight and/or divorce, moving to a strange school, bullying from other children or teachers, and traumas such as serious illness can all contribute to anxiety both as a child and in later life. This is one of the commonest causes-of-social-anxiety-disorder.

b) Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia, From the Greek, means a fear of a crowds, the 'agora' was a place where people gathered. People can suffer from agoraphobia at any age, and its triggers could be anything from being lost in a large department story, a strange city, traveling on a train, bus or airplane where it is difficult or impossible to leave.

c) Fear of incontinence.

For any-one with IBS, stress incontinence or a condition such as Irritable/Hyperactive Bladder this is a pervasive fear that can almost leave the sufferer housebound. We imagine not being able to find a bathroom, and the shame of losing control of our bowels.

d) Fear of talking to people.

We may find it very hard to talk to people, fearing that whatever we say will be embarrassing. If you have ever had some-one belittle you in public, or told you you were stupid, looked ugly, fat etc, then this can be one of the causes-of-social-anxiety-disorder. It can affect your work, shopping and socializing.

When I saw a counselor and mentioned my own social anxiety disorder, and what I believed were the causes-of-social-anxiety-disorder, she advised me to take prescribed anti-depressants, but also to take very small steps to overcome it, such as walking to the local shops five minutes away, and gradually spending more time in a shop, then perhaps to get on a bus and travel just one stop during a quiet part of the day, and walk back. She said that the panic I felt would appear on a graph as a spike, which would run very high for a short time then gradually begin to drop, because no-one can maintain a state of panic for a long time. Because panic is part of the 'fight or flight' mechanism in human beings, we think that we feel sheer panic for longer than we actually do, and when we run from it, it lasts longer than if we face the fear. If we do that, we would see the 'spike' of fear begin to fall away. Few people want to test this theory, because we think we may faint, have hysterics, lose control of our bowels or bladder etc, but she said very few people do. It is difficult to try and control anxiety, but we are the only people who can try to; no-one else can, although prescription medications can help.

Tackling the causes-of-social-anxiety-disorder is even more difficult. Some people try hypnotherapy, hypnotism and such treatments to try and find the causes and face them down. This approach requires that we really want to root out the causes, and can be upsetting. A long time ago, when a rather heavy-handed counselor asked me a specific and very upsetting question, I was in tears, and did not go back. The time was not right. However, I think it is something I would consider now. It is also a useful therapy to write about the known causes of your own anxiety, if you know them, but at a distance. For instance, you could write in third person, creating a character and calling itself by another name, then writing about what that person has gone through in their life as fiction.

So many people suffer anxiety today, and every single person is unique. Like IBS there is no one proven cure, but any-one with anxiety, panic attacks or phobias should consider a variety of treatments, and not push themselves too hard. Nor should any-one feel a failure or guilty, as there is no blame on the individual.

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