What is Social Phobia?
By nature, some people come across as more gregarious, feeling perfectly at ease in the midst of new people while others may be a bit more reticent, needing to hang back and get a feel for the environment.
For someone struggling with social phobia, the very thought or idea of being around large groups of people, whether known or unknown, brings on feelings of discomfort or even outright fear.
According to the National Institute on Mental Health, an estimated 15 million American adults suffer from social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, within any given year.
As with any psychological disorder, social phobia affects different people in different ways with some forms greatly limiting a person’s lifestyle and overall quality of life.
Understanding how social phobia works may well be the first step towards helping you determine if treatment can be of benefit to you or someone you know.
What is it?
People affected by social phobia experience an ongoing fear of social situations made up of unfamiliar people or situations where others will scrutinize them.
This condition can be chronic or long-term in duration, and over time have debilitating effects on a person’s ability to live and thrive in daily life.
Social phobia may be generalized in terms of applying to any and all social situations or it may only apply within certain contexts, such as the workplace or public speaking.
Someone struggling with social phobia can experience one or more of the following:
- Feeling extremely self-conscious around others
- Unfounded feelings of embarrassment in social settings
- Difficulty making and keeping friends
- Feelings of anxiety when talking to others
- Fearful of being judged by others
- Physical symptoms, such as sweating, nausea, trembling when with other people
If you or someone you love is suffering from the anxiety associated with social phobia, call our helpline toll free at 800-598-5053 (Who Answers?) for assistance in finding a rehab center, counselor or therapist that can assist you.