Do you currently suffer, or have you recently suffered from, the following:
- Fear of social situations in which you are exposed to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny by others
- In social situations, fear you will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will cause embarrassment
- Exposure to feared social situation provokes anxiety and/or panic
- You recognize your social fear to be excessive or unreasonable
- Avoidance or dread of feared social situation
- Fear of social or performance situations interferes with your normal routine
If you experience several of the above, you may be suffering from social anxiety, also called social phobia.
Social anxiety, or social phobia, is a very common form of anxiety. Social anxiety often begins in childhood, and has a tendency to worsen over time without treatment. In many cases, the social anxiety can be uncomfortable enough that it leads to panic attacks. Many individuals need to interact with others due to their job duties, their schooling, their parenting activites and so on. In such cases, the presence of social anxiety can create great pressure and dread. Other times, individuals suffering from social anxiety find themselves withdrawing from more and more areas of their lives over times.
Social anxiety can be effectively treated. Sometimes, talk therapy methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are sufficient to overcome negative habits of thinking, feeling and doing in social situations. Other times, a combination of medication and counseling may be the best choice.