Social anxiety is a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations. It is one of the most common anxiety disorders and is much more than being shy.
Many of us can worry about some social situations, but with social anxiety you will worry excessively about it before, during and afterwards. You may be afraid of doing or saying something that you fear will be unacceptable, embarrassing or humiliating, such as sweating or blushing or not saying the right thing.
“I have always been shy but after I lost my job, I withdrew from everyone and used to worry so much about looking a fool.”
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What is it?
Social Anxiety is a type of complex phobia, which has a significant impact on a person’s life.
It can severely affect your relationships with others, your confidence and self-esteem, and your work life.
Social anxiety often starts when we are young and is sometimes thought to be an aspect of our personality. However, it is a recognised disorder that can be effectively treated with CBT.
With social anxiety you may experience the following:
- A significant and persistent fear of social or performance situations in which embarrassment, rejection or scrutiny are possible.
- Experiencing the physical symptoms of anxiety when in the feared social situation(s).
- You recognise that the fear is unreasonable but you feel you are unable to do anything about it.
- You either avoid the feared situations or endure them with intense anxiety or distress.
- Symptoms may have persisted for 6 months or longer
How Let's Talk can help
At Let’s Talk we will assess your needs and offer you the appropriate treatment to help you to get back on track. The help we offer may include self-help, attending a course, individual guided self-help over the telephone or face-to-face therapy sessions. You may also be advised by your GP to consider anti-depressant medication.
Psychological help will aim at helping you face your fears and learn to live life in a more peaceful accepting way. Techniques will work with you to manage your worrying thoughts, face situations you may have been avoiding, relax your body, and increase your confidence socially.