While some people would describe social phobia anxiety disorder as "shyness" if you ask anybody who suffers from the condition they will tell you that it is more than just shyness. If you can imagine everyday tasks such as shopping, speaking on the telephone, talking to friends and family, someone who suffers from social phobia anxiety disorder will absolutely dread these situations. The fear and anxiety which they create can be life changing although many people do dismiss it as nothing to worry about!
Fear of socialising
When you consider that we speak to friends, family and strangers on a daily basis we can only imagine the life changing situation if you are not able to do this. There are many reasons why individuals feel this building anxiety and fear such as the fear of embarrassment, humiliation, sweating profusely and appearing incompetent to name but a few. The problem is that once you begin on the road to social phobia anxiety disorder and an episode hits you it is like a vicious circle.
When you bear in mind that the human race is a very social race can you really imagine the life changing situation if you have a fear of socialising?
Quote from PhobiaSupportForum.com: "There is being scared of speaking in public and there is FEAR - I have a real fear of speaking in public and despite trying a number of control techniques such as focusing on one person, etc I just cannot beat this one. Does anyone have any suggestions? Different techniques which work for you? Any help would be appreciated. "
When does social phobia anxiety begin?
Like so many phobias there are no set rules as to when social phobia anxiety disorder will rear its ugly head. Some experts believe that the origins of those suffering from this particular phobia can be traced back to childhood. However, this can be difficult to spot because many children fear school, fear socialising in their early years and can become extremely agitated and upset in certain circumstances.
Research has shown that adults who suffer from this particular condition are likely to struggle when meeting strangers, avoid talking in small groups and starting conversations, struggle with work and are unable to eat or drink in groups. Simple activities such as shopping can become a massive issue for those with social phobia anxiety and you really have to go through it to understand exactly what it does to you.
Many people believe that social phobia anxiety is one of the more dangerous phobias because it can lead on to an array of other conditions. The vast majority of those who suffer from social phobias will likely experience panic attacks on a regular basis which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy and further issues. When suffering a panic attack it is easy to believe that your "life is about to end" although from a factual point of view, as well as a medical angle, it is impossible to die from a panic attack.
However, you tell the person who is suffering that what they are feeling is not real and is not threatening and they will give you a very different angle on what goes through their mind. Other issues very closely connected with social phobia anxiety disorder include depression, general anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Substance abuse can become regular amongst those with low self-esteem because of their social phobia and many doctors are now trained to spot the signs.
Unfortunately many people who read about social phobia anxiety disorder will often describe this as "shyness" when it is very different indeed. Sufferers cannot physically face certain situations and will shy away from socialising even with friends and family. If this particular condition is left untreated it will likely become worse and can cause serious problems in an individual's life.
So, if you are suffering from social phobia anxiety disorder you are not alone, your feelings and reactions are "real".