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What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

The main characteristic of Social Anxiety, also called Social Phobia, is a fear of being judged or evaluated in social situation or by others. People with Social Anxiety are afraid that they’ll do something to embarrass themselves or appear stupid or boring.

When unable to avoid a social interaction they can become intensely anxious, sometimes having a full blown panic attack. And while they realize that their reaction is extreme they feel powerless to change it.

Social Anxiety can be extremely painful and can rob a person of a good life. People may isolate by avoiding friends and family, they may turn down good job opportunities or travel because of their fear, they may avoid romantic relationships, and their lives can become smaller and smaller.

Social Anxiety is much more than shyness. Fewer than 5% of people with social anxiety seek help when it begins, usually in the teenage years. Left untreated it can open the door to depression and alcoholism.

AHLwaysconsider: Social anxiety may cause people to avoid others and find it painful to interact but with treatment it can decrease significantly and be managed.

Do you find yourself avoiding people and social situations? Please leave your comments below!

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Pat Ahl, LPCC, NCC, LLC 2018