Social anxiety

Social anxiety (social phobia)

“I’m not good at socialising. I know it will go badly, it always has done before. I get shaky, like I’m about to pass out just before I have to do it. After a while I started just avoiding it. The people aren’t going to like me, anyway. Even at work I’ve found ways to work from home or stay in my office. The problem is I am getting tired of being alone. I don’t know why I can’t do it like a normal person… Its not fair. I want a friend. I want sex. But just can’t…”

Social anxiety is more common that people think. 

If something like this is happening to you, talking with a qualified professional might help.


What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is a long-lasting and overwhelming fear of social situations. It's a common problem that usually starts during the teenage years. 

For some people it gets better as they get older, although for many it doesn't go away on its own. Social anxiety is more than shyness. It's an intense fear that doesn't go away and affects everyday activities, self-confidence, relationships and work or school life. 

Many people occasionally worry about social situations, but someone with social anxiety feels overly worried before, during and after them

You may have social anxiety if you:

  • dread everyday activities, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, working or shopping 
  • avoid or worry a lot about social activities, such as group conversations, eating with company and parties
  • always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushing, sweating or appearing incompetent
  •  find it difficult to do things when others are watching – you may feel like you're being watched and judged all the time
  •  fear criticism, avoid eye contact or have low self-esteem
  • often have symptoms such as feeling sick, sweating, trembling or a pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  •  have panic attacks (where you have an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety, usually only for a few minutes)
  • cannot make yourself go to meet friends, even when you want to for fear of what might happen

Many people with social anxiety also have other mental health issues, such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or issues with their body and appearance. 

It can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life, but there are ways to help you deal with it. 


How can we treat Social Anxiety issues?


Working with a professional therapeutically is likely to involve identifying negative thought patterns about what will happen when you socialise and behaviours such as how you avoid them. 

These then form the targets of therapy.

 It is often the case that this type of issue has long standing causes, sometimes as far back as childhood. 

Slowly, once we are managing the symptoms, we can work backwards and address the causes, working out what happened to make you feel this way and allowing you to let go of it and feel better.

I offer all clients a free initial consultation. It gives you a chance to see if this will work for you without charge. 

You can book a free and no commitment session by clicking book now or  contact me  for any questions you may have.