What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a very common anxiety disorder. It involves the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, defectiveness, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and sometimes also leads to experiencing depression. People experiencing social anxiety usually become anxious when they are in social situations, but tend to feel better when they are alone.
What is the difference between Generalised Anxiety and Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a specific fear that arises during social interactions (or in avoidance or anticipation of social interactions), whereas generalised social anxiety involves feeling anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable in almost all situations.
What are some of the signs and symptoms of Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety comprises a number of different symptoms and experiences:
- A persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations.
- A fear that the person will act in a way (or show anxiety) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.
- Exposure to the feared situation provokes anxiety, which may also take the form of a panic attack.
- The person recognises that this fear is excessive.
- The feared situations are avoided or else are tolerated with intense anxiety and distress.
- The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation interferes significantly with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, social activities or relationships.
- The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent and typically lasting 6 or more months.
What counselling interventions are available to reduce Social Anxiety?
We offer a number of different evidence-based counselling interventions to reduce social anxiety. These include, but are not limited to: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness (including mindfulness meditation), Mindful-Self-Compassion, Schema Therapy, Guided Imagery and Imagined Exposure, Relaxation and Breathing Training.
If you are interested in learning more about anxiety or seeking counselling for an issue related to social anxiety, please contact us to discuss your individual support needs and arrange a consultation.