Social Anxiety/Social Phobia
Symptoms of social anxiety/social phobia:
Individuals with social anxiety have an intense fear of social or performance situations and a high rate of avoidance of situations. Individuals experience excessive fear of evaluation, fear of other’s negative judgments, being perceived as foolish, or acting in ways that will be perceived as embarrassing. The fear and anxiety cause significant emotional distress and avoidance, interfering with daily life (e.g., relationships, work, school). An individual may feel powerless against the anxiety, but social anxiety does not have to stop them from reaching their potential.
Here are some questions with which you might identify:
Examples of feared situations:
Treatment of social anxiety/social phobia:
Treatment can help people overcome the fear that becomes excessive and unreasonable. Effective treatment for social anxiety/social phobia involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and the development of effective coping tools. CBT involves cognitive restructuring, which allows one to learn to challenge the value and accuracy of their thoughts related to negative evaluation. CBT also involves exposure therapy, in which one learns to more comfortably handle social situations. Exposure therapy consists of learning to approach anxiety-provoking social situations to reduce anxiety and avoidance. Imaginal exposure is also used to challenge fears through story writing about anxiety-provoking situations and feared outcomes. Other coping strategies are developed, such as assertiveness training.
Examples of therapy goals to decrease social anxiety: