What happens in anxiety?
Many people with anxiety experience symptoms of more than one type of anxiety condition, and may experience depression as well. It’s important to seek support early if you’re experiencing anxiety. Your symptoms may not go away on their own and if left untreated, they can start to take over your life.
Socially anxious individuals cannot seem to relax and enjoy themselves while they are in public. These people think that other people are trying to evaluate them in some sort of way, being critical in what they do or say.
However, for people with social phobia performing in front of others and social situations can lead to intense anxiety. For example, the prospect of eating in front of others at a restaurant can be daunting for some people with social phobia.
Social phobia may occur in the lead up to or during in:
performance situations (such as have to give a speech or being watched while doing something at work)
situations involving social interaction (such as having a meal with friends, or making small talk).
Social phobia can also be specific; where people fear a specific situation or a few situations related to a specific fear (such as being assertive at work or with their friends).
How common is social phobia in our country?
Research suggests that almost 11 per cent of the Indian population experiences social phobia during their lifetime, with just under 5 per cent experiencing social phobia in any 12-month period. More women than men appear to develop the disorder. The condition often starts in childhood or adolescence.
Treating social anxiety
Social phobia is treatable and seeking professional support is the first step to recovery. There are two main types of effective treatments for social phobia; psychological treatments will generally be the first line of treatment. In some severe cases, taking healthy food and changing lifestyle can also be effective.