Social Anxiety, also known as Social Phobia, is characterized by extreme anxiety in social situations. Most people will experience some discomfort, anxiousness, or awkwardness in social situations. However, people with social anxiety often have an intense fear of embarrassment or humiliation. Often this fear shows up in social situations, where people may fear being judged by others as incompetent, stupid, or weak. People with social anxiety might also worry that others will be aware of their anxiety and discomfort.
Social anxiety is common, ranking as the most frequently occurring anxiety disorder, with approximately 3 to 33 percent of the population suffering from social anxiety at some time in their life. People with social anxiety typically avoid social situations, with more than 90 percent avoiding more than one type of social activity.
Everyone experiences their anxiety differently. However, some social fears that people may experience include:
- Fear of public speaking
- Fear of blushing in public
- Fear of choking on or spilling food while eating around others
- Fear of writing or signing documents when others are not present
- Fear of being watched
- Fear of crowds
- Fear of using public toilets
If you or a loved one is suffering from social anxiety, please remember that effective evidence-based anxiety treatments have been consistently shown to help individuals with social anxiety to take back their lives from the clutches of anxiety.