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Terça-feira, 10 / 03 / 20

How Safety Bias Tricks Socially Anxious People into Toxic Avoidance.

How Safety Bias Tricks Socially Anxious People into Toxic Avoidance.

Janey Davies.

https://www.learning-mind.com

March 9th, 2020.

 
safety bias social anxiety.
 

 
 
People with social anxiety are often told to face their fears. That gradual exposure to social situations will improve their anxiety. But research suggests those that do not improve are using safety bias tricks without realising. So what are these tricks and how do they lead to avoidance?
 
What Are Safety Bias Behaviours?
 
Socially anxious people fear social situations for a number of reasons. Some may feel trapped, others suffer from cripplingly low self-esteem, and some simply have anxiety attacks in social settings.
 
With all types of anxiety disorders, the treatment suggested is a gradual exposure to the fear-producing situation. The premise is to introduce the person very gradually to situations that cause slight anxiety. Once the person learns to stay in the situation and manage the fear, they can move onto a higher level of anxiety.
 
The idea is that by staying in the fear-producing setting, the person learns that nothing untoward happens and eventually the fear subsides. By the end, the person has overcome their social phobia.
 
This is all well and good. But as someone with a phobia will tell you, it’s never that simple. And researchers have found that socially anxious people are using safety bias tricks to avoid social situations. So let’s get down to it; what are these behaviors?
 
12 Safety Bias Tricks People with Social Anxiety Use
 
Safety bias makes a person undertake certain behaviours during a social setting which are designed to make them feel better, or safe, but in fact, don’t.
 
Some examples include:
  1. Always getting the end seat in a cinema so you can leave quickly if you feel anxious during the film showing.
  2. Standing at the back of the meeting room so you can escape if needed.
  3. Ordering only drinks at lunch so you can leave quickly if you feel panicky.
  4. Talking quickly, speeding up your speech without pausing.
  5. Avoiding eye contact so that you won’t have to talk to people.
  6. Wearing boring and bland clothing so that you don’t attract attraction to yourself.
  7. Drinking or taking drugs to steady your nerves before the event.
  8. Avoiding substances such as caffeine that you know increases your adrenalin and makes you blush or sweat.
  9. Pretending you didn’t see someone or that you are not interested in the conversation so you don’t have to participate.
  10. Asking a lot of questions to take the attention off yourself.
  11. Taking on roles within a group with the least interaction with others, e.g. setting up equipment or handing out paperwork.
  12. Walking with your head down or your hands in your pockets to avoid interaction with others.
 
Now we all have behaviours that we repeat to make ourselves feel calmer and more confident. For example, wearing makeup, putting on flattering clothes, even drinking and smoking help us to a certain extent.
 
And you might think that there isn’t really a problem with a person using these kinds of tricks if they make them feel safer. But research shows that safety bias behaviours actually hinder a socially anxious person’s ability to overcome their fear.
 
To put this into context, I want to show you some extreme forms of safety bias behaviours.
 
Extreme Forms of Safety Behaviours
 
  • An agoraphobic might remove themselves entirely from society and stay indoors to keep themselves safe.
  • A person with OCD might wash their hands over 100 times to keep themselves safe.
  • A man who fears to have a stroke might move around slowly so he keeps himself safe from injury.
  • A CEO with a fear of public speaking might feign illness on the day she is due to give a speech to keep herself safe.
  • A person with a fear of vomiting might stop eating to keep themselves safe.
 
These are all extreme versions of our socially-anxious sufferers, but you can see that by using safety behaviours, you are actually making the problem worse, not better.
 
Why Safety Bias Behaviours Don’t Work
 
The problem is that these safety behaviours have immediate relief in the short term. If you don’t have to face the most frightening thing in your life, it can be incredibly relieving and feel really good. Not only that, but this good feeling reinforces that what you are doing must be right. But it only works short-term.
 
In the long-term, it is very damaging. This is because when you engage in safety bias behaviours, you are focusing on your anxiety and your fears. These are at the forefront of your mind at all times. You are constantly examining what’s happening and then reacting to these perceived threats. And don’t forget, that’s all they are – perceived, they are not real.
 
The problem is that after a while, you become accustomed to feeling like this in social situations. It’s all you know. And then it becomes a vicious circle of negative fear and reaction. You use your safety behaviours and gradually withdraw from society. And although in the short-term, you might feel relieved, you don’t feel better in the long-term.
 
So what would benefit socially-anxious sufferers instead of safety bias tricks? That old treatment of confronting your fears is true. But you have to do it properly. You have to learn that social situations are not threatening and that there are other ways of coping, without using maladaptive ways.
 
Healthy Ways of Coping with Social Stress
 
So what are these adaptive ways of coping with social stress?
Breathing exercises and relaxing techniques.
 
Learning to breathe slowly and reduce your heart rate are key to decreasing your panic levels.
 
Talking to yourself in the third person.
 
Studies show that by talking to yourself in the third person instead of ‘I’m going to panic’ saying ‘She’s going to panic’ takes the edge off and allows you to be objective.
 
Understand that if you are ill, people are kind.
 
I always had a fear of fainting in public which affected me going out. Then I saw someone faint and everyone was so kind and caring.
Being prepared for your work.
 
You can’t go wrong if you have prepared the life out of your project. Know it inside and out and you won’t feel anxious talking about it on the day.
Live in the moment.
 
There’s a lot of talk these days about living in the moment and not letting life pass you by. You can use this mantra to reduce panic by remembering this moment will pass and tonight you’ll be safe in your bed
.
Final thoughts
 
It’s tempting to use safety bias tricks to help us get through tough times, but they don’t work, they just waste time, so why not learn some useful ways of coping instead. In fact, check out our CBT page for helpful tips.

References:
  1. www.cambridge.org
  2. www.researchgate.net
  3. unsworks.unsw.edu.au

Janey Davies

 





About the Author: Janey Davies.
Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 




 

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publicado por achama às 08:24
Terça-feira, 05 / 11 / 19

What Is Scopophobia, What Causes It and How to Overcome It

By Sherrie Hurd

learning-mind.com

on November 4th, 2019.

 
scopophobia.


 

 
 
If you are afraid of having your picture taken or being looked at by other people, you could have scopophobia. There are ways to find out.
 
I remember being frightened right before speech class. I knew that everyone would be staring at me, and maybe some of them would be making fun of me too. However, since I really don’t have scopophobia, I pushed through the speech and completed about five more assignments during the semester.
 
 
For some people, speech class is impossible. For some, taking selfies is a no go. I often wonder as I browse social media why some profiles have no pictures. I think it’s possible that the owner of the profile could have scopophobia.
What Is Scopophobia?
 
I think my mother had this fear. I remember how she would run when people wanted to take her picture, and she often hid her face if people looked at her too much. You know what, I never considered her little quirk to be an actual phobia. I guess I was wrong. I learned about my mother’s phobias and severe anxiety later in my life.
 
With that information, I will explain the definition of scopophobia. It’s basically a fear of being looked at, a fear of being in pictures and a fear of any sort of visual attention. Ophthalmophobia is another name for this fear of being watched.
Some symptoms of scopophobia are:
Increased breathing
Heart palpitations
Extreme anxiety
Irritability
Nausea
Sweating
 
There are other symptoms as well, but they differ from person to person. Some people may experience these symptoms but also experience dry mouth too. Some people may not even experience all these symptoms at all and may experience something completely different.
 
Although scopophobia is a social disorder, closely linked to anxiety, it can evolve in all sorts of ways depending on the person and the situation.
What Causes Scopophobia?
 
Like most phobias, it can be caused by several things. We never really know what someone is going through until we understand what made them the way they are. Keep this in mind and never judge.
1. Genetics and observation
 
Genetics can play a role in this fear, as a child can take on some of the same traits, including phobias, as their parents, although this is not the most common cause. Scopophobia can develop when witnessing others going through the same thing as well.
2. Social anxiety
 
Scopophobia, unlike some other phobias, is more of a social anxiety based fear. Most of these cases come from a form of childhood trauma or event. It can also develop over time due to bullying or abuse.
 
 
Some victims of abuse, over time, start to lose healthy self-esteem and this causes them to avoid the looks of others and especially causes them to shy away from photos.
3. Physical ailments or diseases
 
Another cause of this phobia may be fear which comes with the suffering of Tourettes or epilepsy. As both these conditions can draw attention during flare-up or attack, sufferers get used to the unwanted attention and then start to fear this attention, drawing away from social activities.
4. Gradual fears
 
Scopophobia can even surface in otherwise social people. It can develop because of stage fright or natural fears during presentations. On the other hand, it can show up in those who have poor body image or personality disorders.
 
As you can see, there are many causes of this fear. The most important thing we need to know is how to deal with scopophobia. And there are many ways to deal with that too.
Overcoming the Fear of Being Seen
 
There are a few ways to overcome or treat scopophobia, but most require professional help. One way you can try to go at it on your own is to endure.
 
For instance, ask someone to purposely stare at you and see how long you can stand it. Set a time and each time, let them stare at you for a longer period. At some point, you will either tell them to stop or you will become numb to the looks.
 
You can also practice telling yourself that the stares aren’t real, even if there are people staring at you. You can practice taking a picture every now and then until you can endure a photo with someone on rare occasions. It won’t be easy, but overcoming or treating a phobia rarely is easy.
 
 
If these don’t work, you should consider professional help such as:
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Response Prevention
Group therapy
Hypnotherapy
 
You can also try meditation. As with most any problem or fear, meditation takes you away from the negative aspects of what surrounds you and places you at the present moment in your thoughts.
 
Yes, you can feel the fear, but gradually, you can clear your mind of the fear, just as you clear out the other clutter that’s been weighing you down lately.
 
The last resort, in my opinion, is medication. No, I don’t like medicating the “wrong” out of me, but sometimes, it must be done. If your scopophobia is causing you to have severe panic attacks, loss of appetite or even extremely negative thoughts, you might consider this option.
 
If you’re seeing a psychiatrist, they can recommend a trial that can successfully treat your problems with this phobia.
It’s Okay to Be Afraid
 
There’s one last thing I need to say. It’s okay to have a healthy fear of some things. But when it comes to phobias, those fears can get out of control in a short period of time. If you notice the signs of this social anxiety disorder within yourself or someone you love, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
 
We’re fighting for the best possible outcome in mental health, and we’re going to conquer our fears.
 
References:
 
 
 
Sherrie Hurd.

 

 





 

About the Author: Sherrie Hurd


Sherrie Hurd is a professional writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and nutrition. Sherrie studied Psychology, Journalism, and Fine Arts, receiving an Associates in Marketing. She has written for Beacon, a southern college publication, and is an author of a full-length non-fiction novel. Sherrie spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse.
 
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 



Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 
 

Archives:



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 



 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
Free counters!

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publicado por achama às 20:47
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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