Social Anxiety – It is More than Shyness

Social Anxiety

When someone says things like, “I don’t want to, I can’t do it, Can you go with me?” they may truly feel as though they don’t want to, they can’t, or they need someone to go with them.

However, there’s another thing that may be at play. Social anxiety, perhaps when the person says that they don’t wish to do something, they mean that they don’t know what to do in that particular situation. So, they don’t want to go and potentially make a fool of themselves.

The same reasoning applies towards those that say they can’t do something. The individual just needs a trusted friend to go with them into a new situation or location. Perhaps the anxiety that the individual feels is too strong and debilitating and without a friend to be there with them, they will feel incapable of doing something.

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is where a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Individuals who have social anxiety disorder may fall into one of two categories:

Generalized & Non generalized:

1. Generalized where most social situations are avoided or feared and 2. Non- generalized where a person has a greater level of anxiety towards certain situations, such as public speaking.

Some symptoms that may be present when someone suffers from this disorder are being very afraid of others’ judgments, avoiding public places, having difficulty speaking, and worrying for an extended period of time before an event where others will be present. Several different factors are at play when one deals with social anxiety; genetics, our brains, and our life experiences are the three of the most commonly accepted ones.

However, with the greater understanding of the disorder, one can begin lessening the effects. Often, that can be achieved through cognitive behavior therapy CBT or through doctors who can prescribe medication for social anxiety disorder. When someone mentions that they truly do not wish to participate in something, we should take into account their level of anxiety. Anxiety can be truly debilitating. So, we should be patient and supportive to those who experience it.

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