Social Phobia: also known as the social anxiety disorder, it describes people who
become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social
situations. People with social phobia have an intense, persistent, and chronic fear of
being watched and judged by others and of doing things that will embarrass them.
They can worry for days or weeks before a dreaded situation.
  • The critical element of the fearfulness is the possibility of embarrassment or
    ridicule. Like specific phobias, the fear is recognized by adults as excessive or
    unreasonable, but the dreaded social situation is avoided, or is tolerated with
    great discomfort.
  • Many people with social phobia are preoccupied with concerns that others will
    see their anxiety symptoms (i.e., trembling, sweating, or blushing); or notice
    their halting or rapid speech; or judge them to be weak, stupid, or “crazy.”
  • Fears of fainting, losing control of bowel or bladder function, or having one’s
    mind going blank are also not uncommon. Social phobias generally are
    associated with significant anticipatory anxiety for days or weeks before the
    dreaded event, which in turn may further handicap performance and heighten
    embarrassment.

Social phobia typically begins in childhood or adolescence and, for many, it is
associated with the traits of shyness and social inhibition. A public humiliation,   
severe embarrassment, or other stressful experience may provoke an intensification  
of difficulties. Once the disorder is established, complete remissions are uncommon
without treatment. More commonly, the severity of symptoms and impairments  
tends to fluctuate in relation to vocational demands and the stability of social
relationships.    More to come

Klaas Tuinman
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada - 2008 rev: 2017
Social Phobia
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