Social anxiety is one of the most confusing and isolating mental health conditions. You may know that you need treatment but cannot bring yourself to talk to anyone because you just don’t like interacting with anyone, especially strangers. Social anxiety can be tricky, making you feel awkward and shy around people, no matter how nice or welcoming they may be. Sometimes you may feel like everyone is judging you or talking about you. At other times, you may make plans with a friend or family member, but then cancel them at the last minute. You may feel immediate relief that you do not have to go, but then feel guilty for canceling.
What Social Anxiety Is
Social anxiety can creep up on you gradually, or a sudden onset may happen after an experience that makes you feel uncomfortable. For example, you may have been speaking in front of people and made a mistake, causing a few people to laugh, and now you refuse to speak in public or even go out in public. Maybe you were brought up in a home where you were constantly put down, made fun of, or bullied. Social anxiety is a fear of being being judged negatively by others, and feeling inadequate. It is actually the third most common mental health condition in adults, and affects approximately 7% of the population in the U.S. Some of the symptoms include: [Read more…]