Social Anxiety Disorder is commonly referred to as Social Phobia and is one of the most common anxiety disorders. It’s a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations and can include intense fear and anxiety over simple everyday activities such as shopping or even speaking on the telephone.
Although we have all worried or been nervous about social situations at some point in our lives, someone who suffers with Social Anxiety Disorder will worry excessively before, during and after. They fear saying something they think will be embarrassing or humiliating and it can have a very disruptive and often, disabling impact on a person’s life.
The disorder usually starts during childhood and tends to be more common in women. It’s a recognised disorder and there are a number of symptoms to look out for including:
* Children may cry more than usual, freeze or have tantrums. They may fear going to school or taking part in classroom activities and school performances.
* You may dread everyday activities such as meeting strangers, talking in groups, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, talking to authority figures, going to work, shopping or eating and drinking in the company of others.
* Low self-esteem and feeling insecure in relationships
* Fear of being criticised
* Avoiding eye contact
* Using drugs and alcohol to reduce anxiety
The fear of social situations can sometimes lead to panic attacks amongst those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder. Although panic attacks usually only last a few minutes, they can be very traumatic because they cause overwhelming feelings of fear, apprehension and anxiety.
If you think that you or someone you know may suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme page for more information about the treatments available. You can also contact us today for help and treatment.