Learning to Cope with Social Phobia

What Does Social Phobia Do?

People with social phobia possess a crippling fear of being disliked or disapproved of by others. They constantly worry that someone is judging them or looking at them in a negative way. People who have social phobia have unreasonable thoughts like, “Everyone is staring at me!” or “Why did I say that? I sound so stupid! Now they won’t like me.” Someone who has social phobia is basically overly self-conscious to the point of severe distress.

Social phobia can make the sufferer so uncomfortable around others that he or she will take measures to avoid social interaction. These means of avoidance may include quitting a job, dropping out of school, or refusing to leave home. Of course, this is an unhealthy way of living. Social phobics usually desire relationships and human connections as much as anyone else, but their fear makes them feel it is impossible to have these things.

The truth is, most social phobics can lead a decent life with friends and loved ones. With the right treatment, social phobia can be dealt with appropriately and a better quality of life can be attained.

How Can You Recover from Social Phobia?

An article from a Canadian publication written by Lise Diebel provides a closer look into the life of a social phobic. The article, entitled “Conquering social phobia,” examines the recovery of a man fighting a lifelong battle with intense social fear.

The focus of the article is a man aged thirty-five who recounts his experiences with social phobia. As a student, he found it difficult to connect with his peers. He even decided against going to college because he felt too overwhelmed by his anxiety. As is the case with many social phobics who don’t receive treatment, the man in question eventually became a recluse afraid to leave his home.

A diagnosis from a specialist when he was twenty revealed that, like many people with a mental health condition, he had another illness: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He was prescribed medication to reduce his high anxiety in social situations.

Fortunately, his treatment was successful. The social phobic man eventually felt calm enough to join a sports team and slowly begin socializing with other people. He hopes to improve more in the future and someday have a girlfriend.

Final Recommendations

The previously mentioned article also describes common signs and symptoms of social phobia and some typical, effective treatments. If interested, you can also read an explanation of the differences between shyness and social phobia.