Social Phobia




Social phobia or anxiety is the fear of humiliation or embarrassment in social situations that causes you to avoid those situations. Adult sufferers realise that this fear is excessive. A very common example is public speaking phobia, though social phobia also includes fears about using public toilets, eating or writing in public, being watched while working or taking any sort of test or exam.

This is the anxiety or panic experienced in social situations where people think they may embarrass themselves or may make a fool of themselves in some way. It tends to affect their whole personality over time and they are often sensitive to criticism and rejection, have low self-esteem and have difficulty asserting themselves.


More immediate symptoms are brought on by social interaction and include:

  1. Palpitations
  2. Tremors
  3. Sweating
  4. Diahrrea
  5. Confusion
  6. Blushing


The treatment is similar to panic disorder but will also probably need to help combat depression and low self esteem as well as more extensive exposure to avoided situations and places.

  1. Relaxation, including techniques to instantly remove stress as well as long term stress reduction.
  2. Exercise. Physical health can often play a part.
  3. Hypnotherapy - cognitive behaviour techniques
  4. Self assessment skills training.
  5. Social skills training. Simple techniques to improve interaction with other people.
  6. Exposure or Flooding - recreating the symptoms to familiarize yourself with them. A with any phobia, you begin with imaginary situations before progressing to real life ones.
  7. Confidence building - which includes using physical techniques like the Alexander method to improve physical presence.