Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. This fear can lead to feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, and depression. Individuals with social anxiety disorder may worry about acting or appearing visibly anxious, such as blushing, sweating, or stumbling over words. The social anxiety reate among Canadians is between 8% – 13%.

What Is Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is more than just shyness or occasional nerves. It involves an extreme fear of social situations that can make everyday activities incredibly challenging. People with social anxiety disorder can worry about these and other things for weeks before they happen. In some cases, they may end up avoiding places or events where they think they might have to do something that will embarrass them.

Symptoms Of Social Anxiety

Symptoms Of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can be accompanied by physical, behavioural and emotional symptoms. In this section we will explore these types of symptoms that an individual may experience if they have social anxiety.

Physical Symptoms Of Social Anxiety

  • Blushing, sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Feeling that your mind has gone blank
  • Muscle tension

Behavioural Symptoms Of Social Anxiety

  • Avoidance of social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life
  • Escaping from social situations
  • Limited eye contact
  • Not talking or speaking softly
  • Physically distancing oneself from others to avoid potential scrutiny or judgement

Emotional Symptoms Of Social Anxiety

  • Intense fear of interacting with strangers
  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged
  • Worry about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
  • Fear that others will notice that you’re nervous
  • Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
  • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
  • Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
  • Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
  • Enduring a social situation with intense fear or anxiety
  • Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
  • Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation

If you or someone you know is experiencing many of these symptoms, social anxiety disorder may be present. It’s best to speak to a medial professional and or explore the option of therapy for anxiety.

Treatment Options For Social Anxiety - Support Groups & Therapy

Treatment Options For Social Anxiety

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for social anxiety disorder. However, many people can be helped with the right care. Treatment should be tailored to your individual needs and may include one, or a combination of, the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is the most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder. It is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things like people, situations, or events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel better even if the situation does not change.
  • Medication: Several different types of medications are used in the treatment of social anxiety, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers. It’s crucial to note that medication should be used in conjunction with therapy, not as a replacement.
  • Self-Help Strategies: There are several self-help strategies that can help manage symptoms of social anxiety, including mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization techniques. Regular physical activity and healthy eating can also help reduce anxiety.
  • Support Groups: Joining a group of people who are experiencing the same struggles can be a great source of comfort and support. You can learn what’s worked for others and share your experiences and coping strategies.

Living with social anxiety can be challenging, but with understanding, treatment, and self-care, individuals can overcome their fears and start living a fulfilling life. If you’re struggling with social anxiety, it’s essential to seek professional help to navigate your path towards recovery.

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Online and In-Person Therapy For Social Anxiety


Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Everyone needs assistance sometimes, and it’s important to take care of your mental health. You don’t have to live in fear of social situations. With the right tools and support, you can navigate your social world with confidence.

If you or someone you know is struggling with social anxiety reach out to AE Psychotherapy Services for guidance and therapy.

Remember that addressing one issue can lead to improvements in the others, breaking the vicious circle and promoting better mental health and overall quality of life. Prioritize your well-being, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support on the journey to better sleep and mental health. Contact AE Psychotherapy Services today!


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