Whilst people with Social Phobia may be able to relax with a small number of friends or family members, they can experience extreme discomfort in other social settings. The combination of a severe lack of confidence and high social anxiety means that they often come across as extremely shy or timid when outside of their social comfort zone.
Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, causes sufferers to experience overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in even apparently straightforward social situations. A part of this persistent anxiety is the fear of being watched and judged by others. We all care about what other people think of us, but for those with Social Phobia, this fear is so severe that it interferes markedly in their everyday life.
Despite their best efforts, people with Social Phobia are unable to overcome their symptoms alone. They often worry for days, weeks, even months in advance of an impending social occasion. For some, the loss of self-confidence can lead to depression, or to excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol as a kind of self-medication for their anxious symptoms.
What Does Social Phobia Look Like?
Social Phobia may be activated in response to just one type of situation – such as a fear of public speaking, or eating or drinking when with others – or, in its most devastating form, it can provoke symptoms in many situations, whenever other people are present. Life for people with Social Phobia can become very difficult. For example, going to work or school on some days (when symptoms are heightened) may be a serious challenge. This has obvious impacts on their ability to maintain employment and educational standards. Social Phobia also makes it almost impossible to make and keep friends.
Physical symptoms of high anxiety are often a part of Social Phobia. There may be one or more of the following symptoms: blushing, sweating, trembling, difficulty talking and nausea or other stomach discomfort. These visible symptoms increase embarrassment and heighten the fear of disapproval. The anticipation that others will notice their symptoms may become an additional focus of fear. A vicious cycle develops – as people with Social Phobia worry about experiencing the symptoms, this worry itself may cause the symptoms.
Benefits of Counselling for Social Phobia
It is probable that through psychological treatment for Social Phobia, Panic Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a person will become much less anxious generally, more able to participate in everyday activities, and particularly much more able to connect with others.
Social Phobia Treatment at Rose Park Psychology
All of our psychologists are able to treat social phobia, as well as other anxiety disorders. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Our friendly receptionists can provide you with more information about appointments and assist you to book in with the best psychologist to suit your needs. Cameron Rathbone has a special interest in this area. We can be reached by phone on (08) 8333 0940 or via email at email@example.com