Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that affects a number of people across the globe. Though we don’t have a definite figure, but it is a widespread issue just like depression. An individual dealing with social anxiety often finds it quite challenging to socialize. These people try their best to go out. The fear of getting judged negatively by people overpowers their desire of going out. Previously, it is called as social phobia and now it has termed as social anxiety. This issue is treatable with medicines and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT. In some cases, both the treatment options are used to get rid of social anxiety symptoms.
In this post, you will learn more about social anxiety and what are the reasons behind it. Also, you will know about the best nootropic medicines which help in reducing the symptoms of social anxiety. Before we proceed further, we will see what the causes of social anxiety are.
What are the causes of social anxiety?
Poor self-esteem is one of the major issues with social anxiety. People suffering from this problem often think that it’s their fault of not being able to get engaged socially. Social anxiety problem seems like a moral failure. Some people dealing with this type of anxiety often have difficult childhood. Social anxiety is a result of imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. When this imbalance is restored, one can get rid of anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety and neurotransmitters
Your brain has several neurotransmitters which are the chemical messengers used by nerve cells. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamate are the important ones. Along with these two, there are other three essential neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These have been studied extensively for normal state of mind and state of anxiety. Each one of these brain chemicals play an important role in anxiety as there are medications and therapies that affect each of these neurotransmitters.
Below are a few of the important neurotransmitters and their linkage with social anxiety:
This plays an important role in controlling your brain states which also include anxious feelings or anxiety symptoms. Further, Serotonin alters dopamine and norepinephrine.
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid)
It is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Barbiturates or benzodiazepines increase the concentration of GABA which further has an anxiolytic effect in some individuals.
Its role in managing anxiety is a bit complex. Dopamine pathways may alter social anxiety in various ways. This neurotransmitter also helps encouraging feeling of self-esteem and self-confidence. This further reduces anxiety symptoms.
Like dopamine, this neurotransmitter also plays a complex role in managing anxiety symptom. Modulating norepinephrine leads to reduction in social anxiety symptoms.
It is a primary excitatory neurotransmitter engaged in every neuronal pathway in the brain and in the body involving those that alter social anxiety states.
Alongside the above mentioned major neurotransmitters, there are other neurotransmitters too that affect social anxiety states in the brain.
Nootropics for social anxiety
If you are freshly diagnosed with social anxiety or have been suspected that the diagnosis may turn out the worst nightmare or may struggling with undiagnosed special anxiety, then nootropics can work wonder for you.
People are seeking alternatives that come up with low risk of side effects. Researches from different countries have shown that a huge slice of population used alternative medicines to get rid of social anxiety symptoms. A study conducted in the US with 1035 participants estimated that majority of people were on alternative medicines for treating other health issues such as chronic pain, back pain, urinary tract infections etc.
Natural alternatives for nootropics
Beta blockers are one of the best treatment options for social anxiety. You can also go for supplements. But if you are prone to side effects or allergic reactions, you can always rely on natural alternatives.
These are essential fatty acids found especially in fatty fishes. When you are mega-3 fatty acids deficient, you are more prone to develop ADHD, depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, and elevated risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This macro-nutrient is essential for proper body functioning. Low levels of magnesium often lead to brain fog, depression, and anxiety. Inadequate magnesium present in the brain cells often affects plasticity of neuron synapses.
St. John’s wort
It is an ancient herb that has been used in the treatment of anxiety, stress, and depression. St. John’s wort prevents the re-absorption process of serotonin in the brain. This herb works similar of anti-depressants.
Vitamin D is also important however, it needs to be present in adequate levels in the body. Excess levels of the vitamin affect how your body and the brain process calcium. Vitamin D is needed but not in excess quantity.
Natural alternatives to SSRI’s, MAOI’s and other anti-anxiety medicines
This herb has been in the usage of treating anxiety, restoring energy, enhancing concentration, treating fatigue etc. Clinical studies have estimated that Ashwagandha repairs and reverse the brain damage caused by chronic stress and anxiety.
It is used to reduce anxiety, stress and depression since ancient times. It also protects neurons and clears imbalance amongst neurotransmitters.
Folate – Vitamin B9
This vitamin is used by the brain to produce serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Folate is an essential element in gene expression, myelin synthesis, amino acid synthesis, and repair.
It is useful in reducing anxiety. Lemon balm has rosmarinic acid that inhibits the GABA transaminase enzyme which further helps in keeping enough concentration of GABA in the brain. This leads to calmer effects.
This is important in the metabolism of carbohydrates which releases energy. It also converts fatty acids into energy. Vitamin B12 supplements help lowering anxiety, increases alertness, cognition, enhances mood etc. It also helps in treating insomnia and curbs mood swings.
Social anxiety is a condition that needs to be addressed before it gets severe. Natural nootropics which are mentioned above are quite beneficial in offering you relief from anxiety symptoms. However, it is recommended to consult with a doctor before using any of these natural nootropics.