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What is Social Anxiety?

May 21, 2008
Many times in public or in a group of people, people tend to get extremely shy, become fearful or overtly self conscious, while interacting in a variety of social situations. These symptoms are so common in their daily life, in which they tend to develop severe inferiority complex as a result of many anxious situations. The scenarios are so obvious: people who have to face interviews, a boy proposing for his fist date to his girl friend, appearing on a stage for the first time or talking infront of a group of people. And the symptoms are also so common: butterflies in the stomach, sweating face and palm, shaking hands! Welcome to the large and mysterious world of Social Anxiety!

It is estimated that as high 100 million people all over the world face the ordeals of social anxiety, and it may increase further with the impending population explosion. Unlike other psychological problems, the curious aspect of social anxiety is not understood properly by people or even the medical professionals. As a result, social anxiety is always misdiagnosed to be any other critical psychological problem.

Clinically speaking, social anxiety is simply explained as a psychological condition, when a person develops or experience self conscious feelings, that others are critically judging or evaluating them all the time. Though most of these feelings are generated at the spur of the moment, people experiencing social anxiety keep assessing the situation, even after those episodes of social anxiety. It also means that the person who is facing this problem, turns cloistered or withdrawn during the course of time; most of the time a socially withdrawn person often becomes depressed and emotionally troubled.

People suffering from social anxiety also feel the intense pain of self inflicted wound, which subsequently forces them to avoid likely future social situations altogether. Unfortunately, the curious problem of social anxiety tends to remain with the person for the rest of their life, unlike many other treatable social problems. Social anxiety symptoms apply to most social events and functions in almost every area of life. Even though it is difficult to comprehend the effects of social anxiety in day to day life, these anxious feelings are usually tied to extremely bad thoughts, which are woven in a vicious web of negative inferences and appraisals.

Curing a person with social anxiety is often difficult in spite of several promising healing methods. However, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only known option that has been shown to work with more effectiveness and this therapy is also known to provide a long lasting relief. Whatever the method you choose, the basic parameter of the therapy is very simple and straightforward, that involves several rounds of wise counseling and intense motivation.

Many of us have at one moment in life, faced severe forms of social anxiety and crippling fear, while interacting socially with other people. With sheer determination and persistence, we have escaped the evil clutches of social anxiety that leads to a happy and normal life.
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