Social anxiety is a common mental health disorder that can significantly impact an individual's life. It is characterised by intense fear and anxiety in social situations, leading to avoidance of social interactions and activities. People with social anxiety often worry about being judged or evaluated by others, and may experience physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or difficulty speaking in social situations.
Psychological Signs Of Social Anxiety
There are several psychological signs that may indicate that you are suffering from social anxiety.
1. Excessive self-consciousness
People with social anxiety may feel extremely self-conscious and worry excessively about how they are perceived by others. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed about their appearance, their words, or their actions in social situations.
2. Negative self-talk
Those with social anxiety may have negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves, leading to negative self-talk. This can include thoughts such as "I am not good enough" or "I will mess up and everyone will judge me."
3. Difficulty making eye contact
People with social anxiety may find it difficult to make eye contact with others in social situations. This may be because they feel anxious and self-conscious, or because they worry about being judged or rejected.
4. Fear of social situations
Those with social anxiety may have a fear of social situations, such as parties, group meetings, or public speaking events. They may experience intense anxiety in these situations, leading to avoidance of them altogether.
5. Physical symptoms
Social anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, blushing, or difficulty speaking. These physical symptoms can be distressing and further contribute to the fear and anxiety experienced in social situations.
6. Difficulty forming and maintaining relationships
Social anxiety can make it difficult for individuals to form and maintain relationships with others. They may avoid social interactions or find it difficult to initiate conversation, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
How and where to seek support for social anxiety?
If you are experiencing these psychological signs and they are impacting your daily life, it is important to seek help. Social anxiety is a treatable condition, and there are several effective treatment options available, including therapy and medication.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a common treatment for social anxiety, and involves working with a therapist to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself and social situations. Exposure therapy is another treatment option, which involves gradually facing and overcoming social situations that cause anxiety.
Medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can also be effective in treating social anxiety. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood.
It is important to remember that seeking help for social anxiety is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you are struggling with social anxiety, do not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for support. With the right treatment, you can learn to manage your anxiety and improve your quality of life.