Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia is characterized by a fear of social situations where there’s the possibility of being judged by others, specifically that one will act in a way or show symptoms of anxiety that will be evaluated negatively. The fear or anxiety is disproportionate to the actual level of threat in the situation, and the situation is either avoided completely or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
Every year, about 7% of the population experiences social phobia; the lifetime prevalence rate is approximately 12%. Females are approximately 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop social phobia than males, this difference may be more pronounced in adolescence and young adulthood
Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness when faced with social situations?
Do you fear being judged or criticized by others?
Are you always worried about making mistakes, looking bad or being embarrassed in front of others?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may have social anxiety disorder. While it is normal to feel nervous in some social situations, people who experience daily social anxiety tend to avoid everyday interactions that cause them significant fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because they fear being scrutinized or judged by others.
People with Social Anxiety Disorder often experience significant distress in the following situations:
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched or observed while completing a task
- Having to say something in a formal, public setting
- Meeting people in authority, such as important people or authority figures
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations
- Embarrassing easily
- Meeting other people’s eyes
What is CBT for social anxiety?
If you feel you may have social anxiety disorder, reach out today so we can schedule an appointment.