Social Phobia: An overview
Phobias are paralyzing and make life difficult for the one who suffers from them. Social phobia is one such phobia that makes it difficult for people to present themselves in social gatherings due to the fear of ridicule or embarrassment.
Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder. The disorder can manifest in many forms. People can suffer from specific fears or generalized fears; from anxiety of being in social gatherings to nervousness of meeting new people. Fear of speaking in public is a major component of social phobia and one of the most common symptoms as well.
Recognizing social phobia
Awareness about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder can help those who suffer seek help for the same. Awareness can also help people recognize the signs in a loved one and get the much-needed help. The symptoms of social phobia can be triggered by any situation that involves a social gathering, regardless of the size. In worse case scenarios, the mere thought of interactions with a superior or a stranger can lead to extreme anxiety and other symptoms. People with social phobia even find it difficult to look people in the eye.
Symptoms of social phobia are:
- Anxiety about certain social situations
- Fear of embarrassment or humiliation
- Fear of being recognized as socially-challenged
- Anxiety or nervousness about a social event that can last for months
- Avoidance of social situations even at the cost of a job or a relationship
- Experiencing hot flashes or excessive sweating before a social event
- Feeling nauseous at the mere thought of attending a social event
- Redness in the face or trembling voice while in a social situation
Help with social phobia
Social phobia can make it extremely difficult for people to move forward in their career or build and maintain meaningful relationships in life. People with social anxiety tend to pass over a promotion if it might require them to network with new people or give presentations in a gathering. They might also shy away from making new friends and avoid going out with family and friends.
It is very important to seek professional help to treat the root cause of the phobia. Support of family and friends can be really helpful. It is best to follow the course of treatment prescribed by a doctor. But the best way to overcome social phobia – like any other fear – is to face real-life situations and get past them. No doubt, overcoming the phobia is not easy to do, but it is possible with professional help and support.