Social Anxiety

Social anxiety/phobia refers to an excessive anxiety about social situations.  Someone with social phobia might be afraid of blushing or stammering in conversation, and believe that if he does these things, others will judge him harshly, or he may believe that he seems boring or unattractive to others.  Sufferers often describe a vivid image of themselves as seen by others, with all their faults exaggerated.

A sufferer might employ Safety Behaviours; for example, someone with fear of sweating might always wear loose, cool clothing, or a person who fears to be thought boring might always say as little as possible.  CBT techniques can help the sufferer to evaluate her thoughts more realistically, and Behavioural Experiments can help her to form a more realistic view of how others might judge her.

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