Social Phobia/ Anxiety What are the Causes and the Solutions

Social anxiety in some contexts is perfectly normal: on the first day of school or in a new work environment, being tense or nervous is normal. Once you get used to the situation, the anxiety gradually decreases, but not for those suffering from a social anxiety disorder.

Different from generalized anxiety (where anxiety is, in fact, general and non-specific) and also from agoraphobia (which depends on the fear of not being able to leave the physical spaces in which you find yourself), social anxiety appears in situations very specific, involving sociability.

Social anxiety disorder, in fact, raises often unfounded fears, such as being constantly judged, observed or derided by others. For fear of being ridiculous and of being humiliated, however, the person manages to avoid social situations altogether, encountering difficulties in relationships and at work.

In this historical phase of a global pandemic and widespread technological resources (from smart working to online meetings) there is no lack of strategies to “work” from a working and relational point of view and, at the same time, remain isolated.

This, initially, can be a relief for those suffering from social anxiety disorder, but not a solution. With the right remedies for social anxiety, however, it is possible to get out of it and go back to living a rich and balanced life, from work to relationships.

Often compared to an unhealthy shyness, social phobia is actually a real disease. The people affected, mainly women, live in anxiety at the mere mention of speaking to strangers, and are paralyzed if they have to speak in public.

This anxiety disorder, which often appears in adolescence, corresponds to a fear of the gaze of others and the judgment of others. To alleviate this anxiety, the person with social phobia will isolate themself  from others, at the risk sometimes of being perceived as contemptuous or haughty, when it is actually quite the opposite.

By not paying attention to the other, the person with social phobia protects him/herself because the mere mention of speaking to him anguish.

How to recognize a social phobia?
Unlike the fright that one can feel before an oral exam or a professional interview, social phobia is a permanent fear felt by the person, who suffers when confronted with the gaze of the other. The person affected by social phobia is frightened by the judgment that the other could carry on him,/her and particularly a negative judgment.

The fear of saying or doing something wrong will generate perpetual anxiety in the social phobic. The latter leads to isolation in order to avoid these types of situations. Consulting a psychologist helps define the level of social phobia and establish an adequate treatment.

Causes of social phobia
Different causes, individual or combined, can cause social phobia. Education, the environment and even psychology play a role in the disease.