What is social phobia?
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What is social phobia?

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Old 12-08-06, 12:32 PM   #1
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Social Phobia

What is social phobia?
Most people feel nervous in certain social situations, such as having a job interview, going to a high school reunion or giving a speech. Most of us worry about what we're going to say, do or even wear during these events. These events often become easier with some experience. However, for people with social phobia (also called social anxiety disorder), these events and other social situations can be frightening and disabling.

People who have social phobia usually begin to notice it when they are in their early teens, although some people have had it for as long as they can remember. For others, it develops later in life, as social demands increase. Social phobia often runs in families. Sometimes it leads to other problems, such as depression or substance abuse.

How does a person with social phobia feel?
Most people with social phobia have a strong fear of being embarrassed in front of other people. People with social phobia feel as though everyone is watching them to see them blush, sweat or otherwise show their fear. They often believe that showing anxiety is a sign of weakness or inferiority. They also believe other people are more confident and competent than these people really are.

People with social phobia usually know their fears are not completely rational, but they still find themselves dreading social situations. They may go out of their way to avoid going to some events. If people with social phobia do go to an event, they usually feel very nervous before the event and very uncomfortable during it. They may have physical symptoms such as sweating a lot, having an upset stomach or finding it hard to talk. Afterward, the unpleasant feelings may linger as they worry about what other people at the event thought of them. Social phobia can make it difficult to go to work or school, or to do other daily activities.

How often is social phobia a problem?
Some people have social phobia in only a few situations, such as performing in public or talking to an important person. Others will have it in many situations, which may include using a public bathroom, eating in a restaurant, talking on the telephone or signing their name in front of people.

What helps social phobia?
Social phobia is an ongoing disorder that usually has to be helped with medical care. It's not just shyness. Even if you're worried about your social phobia, your family doctor can help you find ways to control your fears.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (called CBT) helps people see social situations differently so they don't fear them. The therapy also involves learning how to reduce anxiety, as well as improving social and conversational skills.

Medicines called antidepressants and benzodiazepines can also help some people with social phobia. People with a certain form of social phobia, called "performance anxiety," can take medicines called beta-blockers just before they perform to ease their anxiety.
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Old 12-08-06, 12:34 PM   #2
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I know I have this & still trying to work on it. Thanks for this CBL, good advice in here; maybe it'll help me.

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Old 12-08-06, 12:40 PM   #3
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i have this too. i aint been diagnosed with it... but im pretty sure i have it. i feel very uncomfortable in social situations



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Old 12-08-06, 12:46 PM   #4
 
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I have this too, 100% sure about it...
Sometimes, well, mostly every day, it is tearing me apart..
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