Social anxiety is having a constant fear of social settings or public performance that exposes one to other people’s possible judgement and embarrassment. People with social anxiety will go to great lengths in order to avoid these situations or put in great effort to face it. They will actively avoid people they are unfamiliar with, even if they are beyond the age of fearing strangers (1-2yrs old). Symptoms include blushing, not talking and clinging on to their parents in a child’s case. These signs may be overlooked easily for being shy, but for social anxiety, people experience them in peer settings too. They may feel anxious about daily events, with a prominent fear of taking action in front of others, such as taking the public transport, or going out for lunch with colleagues in case they embarrass themselves.
Social phobia is common and affects more females than males, as females are more concerned with social competence and attach greater importance to interpersonal relationships and evaluation by peers. Many individuals with social anxiety have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and they tend to have poorer quality of life as adults as they experience relationship and academic problems.
People with social anxiety are more likely to be:
- Highly emotional
- Socially fearful
This results in them having poor social skills which in turn would result in social isolation, causing their colleagues or peers to see them as less socially desirable. In severe cases, the anxiety experienced can cause the following physical symptoms:
- Upset stomach
- Rapid heartbeat from full scale panic attack that interferes with functioning in occupational, academic and social settings.
Please note that the contact form above are not meant to address crisis situations as we may not be able to attend to your enquiry immediately. If you are facing a mental health crisis, please call IMH at (+65) 6389 2222 or (SOS) at (+65) 1800-221 4444. Thank you!