Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is a condition that causes an intense fear of socializing or being in a place where they might be vulnerable. People who suffer from social anxiety often avoid being in a situation where they need to interact socially or be the center of attention. They live in extreme fear of not being able to meet expectations, thus at risk of being criticized, judged or being embarrassed.
Although most people with social anxiety recognize that their fear may be unfounded, they often feel powerless to manage the anxiety because the fears are so intense. The thought of going to school, work, attending a job interview or getting to know new people is overwhelming to the point that they avoid doing these things. Social anxiety frequently manifests into physical symptoms, such as excessive sweating, trembling, difficulty breathing or shaking.
Multiple factors can contribute to a person developing social anxiety, although the environment is often one of the causes. Survivors of bullying, frequent criticism, frequent teasing, being undermined, being compared with others, or being publicly shamed are vulnerable to developing social anxiety. Having a history of abuse also contributes to the onset of social anxiety.
The primary treatment for social anxiety is psychotherapy, although it may be necessary to use the medication in some situations. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the well-known, evidence-based treatments. The therapist guides the client to identify and replace negative, maladaptive schema. The therapist will also teach the clients to apply relaxation techniques to manage their anxiety and gradually face their fears. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is also helpful to reduce the impact of the traumatic memories which cause the onset of social anxiety.
Restoring Peace Counselling & Consultancy offers counselling and psychotherapy for individuals who are dealing with social anxiety. For more information, visit us at www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
Keywords: Singapore, mental health clinic, mental health therapist, anxiety counselling, psychotherapy services, social anxiety