Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is often thought of as a disorder that one has or does not have. In reality, social anxiety is experienced on a continuum and can be triggered by a variety of situations. People who are on the more extreme end of the spectrum tend to be deeply affected by anxiety in social situations. Some examples of when someone might experience social anxiety include during oral presentations, when ordering a meal at a restaurant or when speaking on the telephone. For someone who is socially anxious, interacting with people can lead to the perception of being rejected and can affect their overall self-esteem.

Common Symptoms of Social Anxiety

  • Feeling intensely nervous in social situations because you think you might be judged or humiliated by others
  • Avoiding social situations that elicit the anxiety
  • Fearing speaking or interacting with strangers
  • Experiencing anxiety when you are the centre of attention
  • Fearing that others will notice your anxiety

Physical symptoms of Social Anxiety

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Blushing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or upset stomach

Possible Causes of Social Anxiety

  • Inherited traits
  • Overactive amygdala
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism
  • Inadequate social skills

If any of these distressing symptoms are affecting your life, don’t hesitate to contact us for help. Our psychologists are trained in evidence-based therapies that will enable you to interact with others while keeping your anxiety in check.