Some of the common symptoms of social anxiety
Have you been feeling?
- on edge
Have you had thoughts like?
- ‘No one likes me’
- ‘I have nothing interesting to say, I’m boring’
- ‘I look and sound stupid’
- ‘Everyone is staring at me’
- ‘People can tell how anxious I am’
- ‘Others are judging me’
Have you noticed?
- you are spending more time alone
- you avoid social situations
- you have stopped doing the things you enjoy
- you stay quiet to not make a fool of yourself
- you are unable to concentrate
- your heart pounding in your chest
- a stomach-churning sensation
- you are sweating excessively
Possible causes of social anxiety
- low self-esteem/confidence – if you have a negative or poor opinion of yourself, you may feel more anxious and vulnerable in social situations
- anxious personality type – you may have certain thinking styles, which are part of your personality, that can lead to you feeling anxious inn social situations
- learnt behaviour – you can learn to worry and be anxious in social situations; your childhood or life experiences may be the reason for this
- pressure – you may be under pressure at home or work, feel trapped or unable to problem solve certain issues that may arise in social situations
- negative thinking – sometimes you may start to think negatively due to an event or situation, and this can then become a habit and part of your general outlook; you may not even be aware of how negatively you were thinking or how this is impacting on you
- lack of interest or reduction of pleasurable activities – sometimes, due to circumstances, you may reduce activities that you gained pleasure, satisfaction or achievement from; you then do not increase these activities as soon as possible, instead you may forget just how much you benefited from these activities, causing you to have a lack of interest in doing them and feeling unable to reengage with these activities as you fear you will not cope well
How common is social anxiety?
- social anxiety occurs in 2% of men and women in the UK at any one time
- social anxiety occurs in 1 in 10 adults in the UK
- twice as many women as men are affected by social anxiety