What is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety, also called social phobia, is the excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that is extremely intrusive and can have debilitating effects on personal and professional relationships. It occurs when people are overly concerned about being humiliated, embarrassed, evaluated, or rejected by others in social situations.

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Causes of Social Anxiety

People with social anxiety disorder fear will avoid situations in which they may be judged by others. It may begin in the teens and may have to do with overprotective parents or limited social opportunities. They could also be bullied, embarrassed or poorly treated. Men and women are affected equally by this disorder.

The Symptoms

People with a social anxiety disorder may begin in the teens and may have to do with overprotective parents or limited social opportunities. Physical symptoms can usually include:

  • Blushing
  • Difficulty talking
  • Nausea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Trembling
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling faint

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The success of the treatment usually depends on the severity of your fears.

Behavioural treatment includes:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you understand and change the thoughts that are causing your condition, as well as learn to recognize and replace panic-causing thoughts.
  • Systematic desensitization or exposure therapy may be used. You are asked to relax, then imagine the situations that cause the anxiety, working from the least fearful to the most fearful.
  • Social skills training may involve social contact in a group therapy situation to practice social skills. Role playing and modelling are techniques used to help you become more comfortable relating to others in a social situation.

Certain medicines, usually used to treat depression, may be helpful for this disorder as well. They work by reducing the severity of your symptoms.

Contacting a medical professional

You can contact a medical professional through our Aventis Wellness therapists to talk about your social anxiety needs:

Our Therapists

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