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Let's talk about Social Phobia and Anxiety

A Social Phobia is more than just typical shyness, it can result in an overwhelming fear of social situations. 


This could be dreading a big event such as a party, or even something small like a regular check-up appointment. 


Also known as Social Anxiety, it is a common problem that can cause both physical and mental symptoms.


Physical Symptoms:


  • Sweating or blushing during, before or after social situations

  • Feeling sick, trembling or having a pounding heartbeat

  • Having panic attacks, which is a sense of overwhelming fear where you may feel the previous physical symptoms along with chest pain and breathlessness


Emotional Symptoms: 


  • Worrying about everyday social situations, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations and speaking on the phone.

  • Avoiding social situations due to a fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.

  • Finding it difficult to do things when others are watching due to a fear of being judged or criticised.

  • Having a low self-esteem, seeing yourself in a more negative and critical way.


As you can imagine, these symptoms can have a huge impact on a person’s day-to-day life, perhaps leading to a development of other phobias, such as Agoraphobia. This is the intense fear of being in situations or places that make you feel anxious, an example being crowded places.


Agoraphobia could even cause you to be so anxious that you refuse to leave your house or avoid interacting with people for long periods of time.


Social Phobia can impact your ability to complete regular tasks, such as going to work or going to the shops, which can lead to feeling isolated and depressed. 


Luckily, there are ways to manage Social Phobia. A common treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is a talk therapy where you will learn coping tactics to manage and overcome the fear of social situations.


It is important that if you feel you are suffering with Social Phobia that you speak to a mental health professional or your GP for support.

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