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Social anxiety


 

Also known as social phobia or fear of social situations. It often starts when a person is in their teens but it can last into adulthood and it can severely affect your ability to cope with social situations. Social anxiety is fear that can wear away your confidence and cause distressing symptoms which can undermine your ability to function at home, school or at work. It can cause an intense dread of everyday social situations, of doing things in front of people and it can limit your ability to engage in activities such as meeting friends, initiating conversations, walking into rooms where there are people, attending parties, engaging in phone conversations and social outings. It can result in staying away from places where there are people which can lead to withdrawal and isolation.

There are various symptoms, such as thinking that people are judging or watching you, or a fear that you will embarrass yourself or that you are not socially capable or competent. Consequently, one’s sense of self-esteem is lowered, confidence is adversely affected causing shyness, leading to avoidance of eye contact and social withdrawal. It may become very difficult to make and keep friends. As a result, you may also experience palpitations, along with a feeling of sickness, sweating and panic attacks. Two young people, Khalid and Laura, who have suffered from this form of anxiety, share their experiences in this short video. (courtesy of Voice Box, Childline’s weekly video chat)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqDX9rntbQs

Social anxiety can be treated with counselling and psychotherapy, such as talking therapy. If you experience social anxiety, the following organisations can offer further advice and information :-

Social Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK

Young Minds

Anxiety Alliance

Mind

 

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