Social Phobia or Social Anxiety?

Published in the Southwest Orlando Bulletin 5/2011

Many people experience anxiety in social situations.  Social anxiety occurs equally in men and women.  A healthy level of anxiety is normal and is necessary to keep us all motivated and working to achieve our goals.  People with social phobia are scared they may embarrass or humiliate themselves in some way.

They feel worried and often terrified of what other people will think of them.  This thought process can lead to isolation for those who stop meeting new people and accepting invitations to social gatherings.

Social anxiety begins with a thought and then the experience of uncomfortable physical sensations such as sweating, trembling, fast heart rate, feeling hot or cold and dizzy.  Because one feels miserable in the social situation, it is avoided.  This is how the cycle of social anxiety is created.  Common situations include:  giving speeches, asking someone on a date, group conversations, and attending parties.

The level of impairment experienced by an individual determines if a situation is social phobia or social anxiety.  A counselor can help to manage anxiety and determine if it is social phobia or social anxiety.  Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey