Social anxiety is the most common type of anxiety that people suffer. Social anxiety is the fear of being around other people. This fear can be the fear of talking to people, being ciriticised or looked at by other people, day to day tasks that others may take for granted like shopping.
People who suffer from social anxiety experience can experience some horrendous feelings of dread and worry, self-consciousness. It is common to feel the need to ‘over-analyse’ given situations or interactions.
From a physical symptom persective, sufferers may experience intense shaking, sweating, heart palpitations and blushing.
Social anxiety comes in 2 forms in the main
Social performance anxiety – the fear of ‘doing things’ in public, speaking, eating or maybe dealing with difficult situations and difficult interactions
Generalised social anxiety – as it says, generalised social anxiety presents in the person’s life in general, affecting most if not all aspects of their lives
Current treatment of social anxiety
There are several ways to address social anxiety. My inital advice, as i’ve said in countless publications, is to CONTACT YOUR GP in the first instance to rule out any physical reasons a person may be suffering from social anxiety. From here there are health professionals at hand to discuss if cninical input may be a useful option – it often isn’t as a lot of people simply do not feel comfortable talking to a stranger. This is perfectly normal, and the professionals available are more than used to helping the most shy or private of people. If this simply isnt an option for the sufferer then still a trip to the GP for the reasons mentioned earlier, to rule out other causes.
Professional help can come in the form of counselling, CBT or another form of therapy which will be decided between the client and the professional as to the best approach for the individual.
Self-help is quite often a very successful method utilised by many. Check our checklist for some ideas, or also our resources for self help in the form of books, dvds and audio
Medication is an option to help with anxiety. Again this is one to discuss with your GP.
In it’s most persistant and severe form, social anxiety can be fall under the category of Avoidant Personality Disorder