Social anxiety is a serious diagnosable psychiatric disorder. It ranks as the third most diagnosed mental illness in the United States after depression and alcohol dependence. Some people also call it social phobia, extreme shyness or introversion.
The symptoms of social anxiety include:
- A marked persistent fear of social situations, where the person is afraid of acting foolishly or being judged negatively by others
- Exposure to the feared social situation causes intense anxiety and/ or panic
- The person recognizes that the fear is unreasonable
- The feared situations are avoided
- The avoidance, the anxiety or the anticipation of anxiety causes problems in the persons life
- THe symptoms need to have been around for six months
Treatment for social anxiety is a combination of mindfulness and acceptance strategies, behavioral strategies and helping the person manage the symptoms while challenging the anxiety and associated thoughts, and this program can be really useful in helping people learn how to overcome social anxiety.
M.any people feel that there lives have been ruined by social anxiety and they have given up on things ever being different. If you live in Auckland and would like to see one of our psychotherapists face to face click here.