Social Anxiety / Social Phobia
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. Phobia is an intense fear. Though fear can be a helpful warning at times, the phobia is often irrational. For example, people may experience extreme anxiety or phobia when they see a lizard, even though it is much smaller and harmless.
Some people live with specific phobia, and it does not interfere with their lives. For example, people with a lizard or cockroach phobia can still live normally. However, some anxiety is so intense that it hinders daily living. One of them is social anxiety or sometimes referred to as a social phobia.
People who have experienced bullying or/and constant criticism often grow up feeling anxious about making mistakes. The fear is so intense that it caused them to avoid any event which may subject them to experience the shame of being bullied or criticise again. Some of the seemingly dangerous events include a job interview, making a presentation, performing in public or social function. Quite often, the person also split within themselves. They want to progress, but the anxiety is so overwhelming that they cannot bring themselves to face it. At times, the fear of making a mistake is so intense, that they unknowingly self-sabotage themselves by performing below their actual ability.
Trauma-based therapy for social phobia includes helping the survivors to identify the cause of the anxiety, recognised the pattern of response and explore alternative and helpful ways of responding to the perceived threat. The aim is to help to reduce stress and gradually increase self-confidence.
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