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Social anxiety Talking Therapies

Social anxiety

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Some of the common symptoms of social anxiety

Have you been feeling?

  • tense
  • anxious
  • vulnerable
  • self-conscious
  • embarrassed
  • upset
  • panicky
  • 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

Want to read more about social anxiety?

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