‘’Understanding a question is half an answer’’ /Socrates/
Feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment when speaking in public or being in the spotlight are common to many, but in some situations, it can become a real problem, interfering with daily work, study or relationships. For example, a manager who has difficulty expressing his or her views at meetings; a student who is inactive in classes and receives low marks; an actor or musician suffering from “lamp fever” (such cases are known even to world-famous musicians and actors); a young person who avoids social events and contacts, thus not building a relationship.
People suffering from social anxiety are characterized by extremely high demands to themselves, a desire to make a pleasant impression of themselves, while questioning their ability to do so. In general, significant anxiety in social situations arises from fear of being in the spotlight and possible negative assessment by others that lead to feelings of humiliation or shame.
Signs and manifestation
- Anxiety most often appears when speaking in public, in public places, eating or meeting acquaintances;
- Feeling of anxiety arises in a particular social situation, which is related to the fear of getting into the spotlight or behaving in a way that might be humiliating or shameful to others;
- May manifest as flushing, hand tremors, nausea, spontaneous need to urinate;
- Inherent fear of people’s exploratory gaze that usually leads to avoidance from public places and events;
- Usually associated with low self-esteem and fear of criticism;
- Manifestations may turn into panic attacks;
- Avoiding social situations can hinder the development of social relationships, cause educational problems (difficulties in communicating with other students, providing answers to teachers), problems at work (work does not match abilities).
Psychotherapy or medication therapy, the usefulness of which in each specific situation is evaluated and determined by a doctor. Without treatment of social phobia (anxiety), a chronic course can develop, with the treatment – improvement up to 90% of cases.
1. Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry (Oxford Handbooks Series) 3rd Edition, David Semple, Roger Smyth
2. Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, Fourth Edition, Glen O Gabbard
3. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond 2nd Edition, Judith S. Beck, Aaron T. Beck