Social phobia is an anxiety disorder where it is difficult for one to deal with social interactions. It is one of the less well-known anxiety disorders, but often occurs. People with a social phobia have issues with daily interactions or even situations or tasks which are linked to interactions. It can have a large influence on one's daily functioning. In this article we sum up the symptoms of social phobia, give some possible consequences of the phobia and describe possible treatment methods.
Social phobia: symptoms of social phobia
Social phobia has a main characteristic of fear of social interactions. These can range from meetings to phone calls. Anything which has to do with conversations or other people, makes you anxious. Whether these are short conversations or just saying 'hello', it can all be stressful for someone with social phobia. They are scared of anything where they need to interact with other people. They are especially insecure of themselves in social situations. They are shy and scared of reactions of others. They are worried that they will be made fun of or bullied. Even feedback is difficult to process for someone with social phobia. They are terrified of the idea that someone does not like them or that someone might laugh at them. After a while or with intense anxiety, this can lead to a panic attack or hyperventilation.
Social phobia: consequences of anxiety
When you are confronted with anxiety, it can be so that you get a panic attack or that you start hyperventilating. These are not the only consequences of social phobia. Anxiety causes tension in the body. After a while, this can cause neck pain or muscle aches. Stress is also present during anxiety or a panic attack. If this happens often, it can be so that this will have its own negative consequences. For example, trouble focusing, worsened memory, constant agitation, et cetera. People with anxiety also often have trouble sleeping. If this is not because of the stress response causing anxiety, it is because they fear the fear itself. This is a fear of situations or feelings which cause anxiety. To give an example: if you have social phobia, you could get anxious in your car, because you know that you will have to say something to your colleague at work.
Social phobia: treatment
'15Minutes4Me.com' developed an online self-help program, which helps you to handle stress and anxiety. It contains exercises and videos which will help you in reducing your fear.
Social phobia: do the anxiety test
You can at any time fill out our free anxiety test to find out to what extent you experience anxiety. After filling out the test, you will be sent to a page with your personal scores right away!