We all know what it’s like to feel anxious or embarrassed in social situations, it happens to most people at one time or another during their life. People with social phobia though, live with an intense extreme fear of certain or all social situations depending on the level of social anxiety disorder they suffer from.
Social Phobia is also referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder and is a lot more common than once thought. There are people all over the world that suffer from social phobia. There are roughly 15 million adult American’s alone that are 18 years of age and older suffering from social phobia, which actually starts during childhood or adolescents. Typically, social phobia begins when a person is around 13 years of age though.
What’s It Like to Have Social Phobia?
People with social phobia can become anxious, nervous and worry about upcoming situations for weeks ahead of time. Some people suffering from social anxiety disorder are fearful of almost any type of social situation and others only have a problem with certain ones like public speaking or meeting new people.
No matter what level of social phobia a person suffers from though, the intense fear of being judged and embarrassed is overwhelming and they can’t control it. The type of fear that’s associated with social anxiety disorder can be so intense, it can interfere with a person’s education, career and other everyday activities and can be debilitating.
Indications of Social Phobia
There are many different signs and symptoms associated with social phobia because social anxiety disorder affects a person’s emotions and their behaviors. People with social phobia have an intense fear of interacting with people they don’t know. They worry about humiliating themselves and that in certain situations, they’re going to be judged and criticized by others.
A person with social phobia may have a hard time talking to people in general or only with strangers, and have a difficult time making eye contact with possibly everyone. Individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder are also worried that people will notice that their afraid, embarrassed and anxious. The level of anxiety a person goes through when they struggle with social anxiety disorder can even turn into panic in certain social situations, depending on how severe their social phobia is.
People with social phobia are self-conscious, feel nervous, anxious, embarrassed, and may feel sick to their stomach, tremble, and perspire when they’re put in situations they’re uncomfortable being in. Most people suffering from social anxiety disorder will avoid social situations that are traumatic to them.
Treating Social Phobia
Social phobia can be treated but a proper diagnosis has to be made first. Talking with a doctor or mental health specialist is the first step to getting help for social phobia. Once other possible causes are ruled out treatment may consist of therapy, medication or a combination of both and can make a positive difference in the life of anyone living with social phobia.