Social Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia
Social Anxiety Disorder, also called social phobia, is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People that have social anxiety have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school - and other ordinary activities.
While many people with social anxiety disorder recognize that their fear of being around people may be excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome it. They often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation.
Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation - such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others - or, in its most severe form, social anxiety disorder may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people. Social anxiety can be very debilitating - it may even keep people from going to work or school on some days. Many people with social anxiety disorder have a hard time making and keeping friends.
About 3.7% of the population ages 18 - 54 - approximately 5.3 million Americans - experiences social anxiety disorder or social phobias in any given year. Research suggests that social phobias occur in women twice as often as in men, although a higher proportion of men seeks help for this disorder.
National Center for Health and Wellness Network Resources:
Emotional Wellness Self Tests
Psychological Symptoms: Coping with Emotional Problems
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Natural Alternatives That Help