Steps 2 Wellbeing

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Social Anxiety

Social anxiety (also called social phobia) is an on-going fear about social situations. It is one of the most common forms of anxiety that people experience. Although lots of people worry about public speaking, going to a party on their own, or talking to an important person they are still able to manage this without too much trouble. For people with social anxiety these experiences are much more intense and overwhelming.

When people have social anxiety they can experience high levels of anxiety over day-to-day activities such as going to the shops or taking a telephone call. This can disrupt normal life, interfering with social relationships, and impairing performance at work or school. Social anxiety is often accompanied by thoughts about how they might humiliate themselves or negative views as to how other people see them.

Symptoms of social anxiety include:

  • dreading everyday activities

  • feeling insecure in relationships

  • shaking, blushing, feeling dizzy or breathing rapidly

  • negative thoughts as to what other people think about you

  • negative thoughts as to how you are in social situations

  • misusing drugs or alcohol to manage situations better

  • avoiding eye contact or avoiding conversation with people

Sometimes the physical symptoms can get so bad that people experience a panic attack.

Without treatment, social anxiety can lead to avoidance of social situations, causing people to become lonely and isolated. But it doesn't have to be this way. The Steps2Wellbeing Service provides evidence based treatment that can help you to overcome your social anxiety and improve your quality of life.