As the name of this anxiety disorder may explain by itself, performance anxiety manifests through one’s disruptive levels of nervousness which arise during activities which involve some kind of public performance or any kind of performance whatsoever. Basically, before you have a speech, sing, speak, play music, have sex or have to perform any other, similar, operation, if you suffer from performance anxiety disorder, you will get overwhelmed by this condition.
Manifestations of Performance Anxiety Disorder
Regardless if the conditions are public or private, this disorder manifests in a similar pattern. Initially, a person starts feeling uneasy due to the fear that something could go wrong. Once this feeling takes place, it overwhelms the sufferer, leading to a decrease in performance. For example, if a person suffers from sexual performance anxiety disorder, he/she may fear that something may go wrong or that the process will turn out to be embarrassing to the extent of triggering premature ejaculation or impotence. So, this anxiety disorder can easily lead to relationship problems, since problems are created from thin air, escalating with the rise of anxiety itself.
Sexual Performance Anxiety Disorder
People who suffer from this disorder may feel so uneasy at the very thought of sex that they might avoid intercourse completely. This creates a vicious circle of low self-esteem, fear and actual impotence or sexual dysfunction.
Paradoxically, the fear of low sexual performance usually sabotages the actual intercourse, leading to poor performance happening indeed. Thus, premature ejaculation, impotence or difficulties maintaining an erection are all possible outcomes of sexual performance anxiety disorder.
While men are the most commonly affected group when it comes to this type of performance anxiety disorder, women can get affected too. However, their symptoms usually involve poor vaginal lubrication due to fear of this problem or pressure of wanting both of the partners to reach the climax. All in all, these fears can interfere with people’s relationships, leading to isolation, avoidance, lack of passion, tenderness and intimacy and numerous other issues of this type.
Treatment for Performance Anxiety Disorder
Therapists can help people overcome their performance anxiety problems through thought and attitude modifications which involve teaching patients how to increase their levels of self-confidence and to project these skills in real life situations. Psychotherapy and reality therapy are the two most common methods.
Alternatively, relaxation techniques for anxiety can relieve the patients of tension which leads to this anxiety. Hypnosis can be very effective too. Finally, as a last resort, medications can be used. However, these do not deal with the cause of the performance anxiety disorder, but, rather, suppress the symptoms.