Social phobia also known as social anxiety disorder and social anxiety is characterized with an overwhelming fear of social situations. Fear can be so intense that a person is almost paralyzed during social events witch leaves them unable to socialize.
There are two general types of social phobia: specific social phobia (specific social anxiety) and generalized social phobia (generalized social anxiety).
Specific Social Phobia
People diagnosed with specific social anxiety are anxious only when they find themselves in a specific social situation; in other social situations they feel just fine and interact normally.
This type of phobia can be caused by an embarrassing event that occurred in a person’s past or without obvious reasons. A common and widespread example of specific social phobia is a fear of speaking in public.
Generalized Social Phobia
Generalized social anxiety is more serious condition than specific social phobia because people with this condition are anxious in almost all social situations. People with this disorder are usually antisocial which results in their isolation and loneliness.
Maya: "I used to socialize a lot and had many friends. Little by little I started feeling uncomfortable in crowded places. After a while I wasn’t able to use public transportation. A few months later I found myself being home all the time, except for going to work. My life became unbearable."
Social phobia can cause many problems and make ones life very difficult even though it is a very treatable condition. Maya’s case is the perfect example of this. She didn’t seek help for a long time and her condition worsened. Finally after she got herself involved in psychotherapy she was better and fully recovered after four months of therapy.
Symptoms of Social Phobia
· Feeling anxiety during social encounters
· Feeling constantly tense when in company
· Having difficulty talking
· Feeling always watched by others
· Headaches during social events
Treatment for Social Phobia:
Social phobia is successfully treated. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy has very good results in treating this disorder.
Of course you have to believe in yourself and work hard in order to get better.
In this therapy, the therapist is usually giving homework to the patient and the patient’s active participation is encouraged. Therefore, the more you work with your therapist the better you will feel.
There are other therapies that are successful in treating social phobia. One of them is group therapy for specific social phobias.
Medications are also used sometimes and they can be helpful. However medications should be taken only if necessary. It is in psychotherapy that you are healing; medication can only help you feel better so you can be fit for the psychotherapy.
Alcohol is commonly consumed by people that suffer from social phobia. Social phobia can cause alcoholism and vice versa. If there is a problem with alcohol it has to be worked on and resolved.
Therefore alcohol counseling is mandatory together with psychotherapy. Also you should know that any amount of alcohol is too much while in therapy and until you get better. Social phobia can be accompanied with depression, drug problem or some other anxiety disorder.
Depression is present in many cases and should be treated at the same time as social phobia. Also, drug counseling is mandatory if there is a drug problem because otherwise the treatment cannot be successful.
There are many things you can do to help yourself and you should really use that opportunity because many ill people do not have it. This disorder is successfully treated; there is a cure in form of psychotherapy that is waiting for you. So, what are you waiting for?