Social Phobia, or Anxiety Disorder

Being afraid of how others feel about you can be a constant worry in life. When you walk into a room you feel like everyone is talking about you and you are extremely self conscious. Sometimes you would rather go to bed than go out. You may have a type of anxiety disorder called Social phobia.

Social phobia is defined as a fear of being embarrassed or judged by others. Sometimes the fear mounts up, especially if you have to make a public speech: you can continually worry about this for weeks before the event takes place and by then you have built it up in your mind so big that is gets uncontrollable.

When you have social phobia, you can have it as early as a youth and it can last a lifetime or for many years. Social phobia can run in families, and research shows it involves several different parts of the brain for anxiety and fear. They continue to search for answers to find better treatments.

What do we do to treat it, to keep it from ruining our lives? First, we start by talking to our family doctor. After an examination they may refer you to a mental health specialist that will usually prescribe medication, or psychotherapy, or in some cases both.

Psychotherapy is learning a different way of reacting to situations, or different ways of thinking or behaving, so don’t let the word scare you. The medication the doctors prescribe is anti anxiety and antidepressants for social phobias. This really can help. The medications don’t keep you sedated, but just keeps you mellow and you won’t think about your situation as much.

The main thing to understand is that you are not alone and there are people that can help.