Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or Social Phobia is a mental health condition that affects a person’s quality of life. Social phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that experience an intense fear of social situations that can negatively impact their daily lives. This disorder not only affects social life but also badly impacts on person’s sexual health. Here we discuss how social anxiety disorder impacts sexual dysfunction in men and women.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder
The causes of social anxiety disorders are not entirely understood but research concludes that a combination of environmental, genetic, and neurological factors can lead to the development of a social phobia.
- Genetic Factors: A social anxiety disorder may be run by families that have some evidence that indicates a genetic component to the disorder. If one identical twin has a social phobia then the other twin is likelier to develop the condition than if they are fraternal twins. This suggests that genetic factors play a major role in the development of social anxiety.
- Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as negative experiences in childhood and learned behaviors can also contribute to increasing social phobia. Traumatic experiences like ridicule or bullying in social situations may lead to a social anxiety disorder. some other factors such as poor support and lack of social skills may lead to developing social phobia.
- Neurological Factors: Neurological factors like an overactive amygdala, which is part of the brain that produces emotions can lead to an increase in the chances of a social phobia. Studies have declared that people with social phobia have an overactive amygdala when they are exposed to social stimuli that lead to fear.
Effects of Social Anxiety Disorder on Sexual Health in Women
Women with social anxiety disorder can experience reduced interest in sexual activities, decreased sexual satisfaction, and unable to achieve orgasm. some other factors such as fear of being rejected, judged, or embarrassed may lead to avoidance of sexual activities.
Research has shown that women who experience Social Anxiety disorder also suffer from sexual dysfunction such as problems with desire, orgasm, and arousal. Women with SAD or social phobia can also experience pain at the time of sexual activity which can lead to avoiding or less interest in the sexual activity.
Effects of Social Anxiety Disorder on Sexual Health in Men
Men with social phobia can also experience sexual health problems. Anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), low testosterone levels, and reduced interest in sexual activities. The fear of being judged, or rejected by a sexual partner may lead to sexual disorders such as a decrease in overall sexual performance and sexual satisfaction. This problem can also impact relationships issue and decrease self-esteem.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Various types of anxiety disorders can have a different impacts on people’s sexual health. here is the list of anxiety disorders and how they impact sexual performance.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Sexual Dysfunction : Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent worries about family, work, and social situations. GAD is related to physical symptoms including restlessness, fatigue, and muscle tension. These physical symptoms can lead to the individual’s sexual performance such as low sexual desire, unable to achieve and maintain an erection, and difficulty to achieve orgasm.
- Panic Disorder and Sexual Health: Panic disorder is one of the anxiety disorders that occur in sudden and unexpected panic attacks. In Panic attacks, there are some symptoms such as sweating, chest pain, and heart palpitations. These physical symptoms may impact a person’s sexual health, leading to difficulties in achieving and maintaining an erection, decreased sexual desire, and difficulty to achieve orgasm.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Sexual Dysfunction : Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs because of unwanted thoughts and behaviors. People with OCD can lead to lower sexual desire and are unable to get and maintain an erection.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Sexual Dysfunction : Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also an anxiety disorder form that can experience people a traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance. There are physical symptoms that affect people’s sexual performance like reducing the desire, decreasing to achieve orgasm, and erectile dysfunction.
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is a treatable health condition. So, find out help from a mental health professional can remarkably improve both social anxiety and sexual functioning also. The treatment for social anxiety disorder included medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that includes identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. CBT helps to learn new strategies that deal with social situations and helps to reduce avoidance behaviors that can negatively impact on sexual health.
Medication treatments such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are also used to treat Social anxiety disorder. These are the medication that helps to decrease anxiety level and improve sexual performance.
Social anxiety disorder can have a crucial impact on men’s and women’s sexual health. A person who suffers from SAD can experience difficulty achieving orgasm, reduce sexual interest, pain during sex, and sexual dysfunction problems. However, getting help from a mental health professional is very effective to improve anxiety symptoms and overall sexual functioning.