Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social Phobia, also called Social Anxiety Disorder, is a condition
whereby the individual feels overwhelming anxiety and excessive
self-consciousness in everyday social situations. It’s
not that a person becomes afraid of people, but what other
people may think of him or her. In a sense, the individual
becomes extremely self-conscious in social environments.
People with Social Phobia have a persistent, intense, and
chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being
embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. This fear may
be so severe that it interferes with work, school, or any other
ordinary social activity.
While many people with Social Phobia recognize that their
fear of being around people is unusually excessive, they believe
that they are unable to overcome it. And often, they worry
for days or weeks prior to a social situation.
Social Phobia can be limited to one type of situation, like
speaking in public, or it can be as severe as to encompass
many or all social situations.
Symptoms can include any of the symptoms
associated with anxiety disorder, and can often contribute
to the anxiety of a social situation because of the fear
associated with the symptoms coming at an ‘inopportune time’ or
visible enough for others to notice.
Social Phobia affects approximately 7% of the population and
equally affects women and men. This disorder usually begins
in childhood or early adolescence. Social Phobia often co-occurs
with other anxiety disorders such as depression, substance
Anxiety Disorder and Panic
With today’s excellent treatment
options, such as good self-help information and therapy,
anyone can overcome Social Phobia.