Feeling nervous or shy around people is normal, especially if you’re meeting them for the first time. So is feeling self-conscious in certain social situations like introducing yourself to a large group or speaking in front of an audience. However, if daily encounters with people leave you feeling sick or give you a strong urge to flee, you may have social phobia.
People with social phobia or social anxiety feel extreme discomfort in any or a particular social situation. They may feel terrified about doing something embarrassing in front of other people, being examined or criticized, or they could be worried that their nervousness is visible. A person with this type of anxiety may exhibit a myriad of physical symptoms when they find themselves in a situation that they fear, and they may even try to escape. In more severe cases, an individual with social phobia will completely avoid being around people.
A person with social phobia can be highly aware that their fear, anxiety, and reactions are out of proportion with the real risks; however, the knowledge of this does not help them calm themselves.
Another possible treatment for social anxiety is cognitive behaviour group therapy or CGBT. This kind of therapy uses the same techniques as CBT for individuals with the added benefit that participants can simultaneously learn how to interact with other people.
Video recording is sometimes used as a tool in CBGT so patients can examine their interactions with others more objectively.
Last updated on: 2022.03.07
Author: Monica Macaraeg