Social Phobia

Topics: Fear, Anxiety disorder, Social anxiety Pages: 4 (1247 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Writing Assignment: Social Phobia

Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is a psychiatric disorder characterized by anxiety about being in public or social gatherings. People with social phobia have an intense fear of being judged by others and of doing something that will humiliate or embarrass them. They become extremely self conscious and anxious during everyday social situations, which makes it difficult to make and maintain healthy relationships. Although this disorder sounds similar to being shy, people who suffer from social phobia have physical reactions such as nausea, sweating, and dizziness when put in social situations. Shy people tend to feel uncomfortable in the same situations, but are able to handle them without any physical reactions.

Social phobia is the most common anxiety disorder in the United States, with approximately fifteen million American’s affected by it each year. According to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, “It can be limited to one situation (such as talking to people, eating or drinking, or writing on a blackboard in front of others). Or, it may be so broad (such as in generalized social phobia) that the person experiences anxiety around almost everyone other than family members”. This disorder can occur at anytime or age, but it usually starts during adolescence. The symptoms are the same for most people, whether they have just been diagnosed or if they’ve suffered from social phobia for years. These symptoms include severe anxiety in social situations, avoiding interaction with other people, and fear of being in a social environment. Some physical symptoms can occur such as blushing, sweating, shaking, dizziness, upset stomach, nausea, muscle tension, fast heartbeat, diarrhea and difficulty speaking.

People with social phobia experience fear during social situations and sometimes a panic attack is the result of that fear. When a panic attack occurs, it initiates the “fight or flight” system...
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