By On May 8th, 2006

Mental Health: Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is an intense and unnatural fear of being watched by, embarrassed by or judged by others; ultimately it is a severe fear of public humiliation. The difference between a normal level of social anxiety and “social anxiety disorder” is that with anxiety disorder a person’s daily routine is interfered with on a consistent basis keeping them from having a normal social life. Social anxiety is one of the most common anxiety disorders and can be treated with therapy. The following article from WebMD gives comprehensive information on the disorder:

“A person with social anxiety disorder is afraid that he or she will make mistakes and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with social anxiety disorder often suffer “anticipatory” anxiety– the fear of a situation before it even happens — for days or weeks before the event. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it.”

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