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Social anxiety, also known as social anxiety disorder or social phobia, is a common psychological condition characterized by an intense and persistent fear of social or performance situations in which individuals believe they may be scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed by others. I can explain the key features of social anxiety:
Individuals with social anxiety experience an overwhelming fear of social situations. Common triggers include public speaking, meeting new people, dating, or being in large groups.
To cope with their anxiety, individuals often engage in avoidance behavior. This means they may go to great lengths to evade social situations that trigger their fears, which can hinder their personal and professional lives.
Social anxiety is associated with physical symptoms such as sweating, blushing, trembling, a racing heart, and stomach discomfort. These symptoms can be distressing and reinforce anxiety.
Individuals with social anxiety often hold negative beliefs about themselves and their social skills. They may believe they are unlikable, awkward, or inferior, contributing to their anxiety.
Interference in Daily Life
Social anxiety can significantly impair an individual’s ability to form relationships, pursue career opportunities, and participate in everyday social interactions, impacting their overall quality of life.
Onset and Duration
Social anxiety often begins in adolescence and may persist for many years if left untreated.
While many people experience nervousness or discomfort in social situations, social anxiety is distinguished by the intensity and duration of these symptoms, which can lead to considerable distress. Fortunately, social anxiety is treatable through various therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and medication. Early recognition and intervention can help individuals manage and overcome social anxiety, allowing them to lead more fulfilling lives.
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