Going on a date, giving a speech, attending an event, talking to a boss can all trigger some anxiety but with Social Phobia there is an intense fear, avoidance, and a multitude of safety behaviors that result from such interactions. Individuals with social phobia do not want to appear awkward and fear negative evaluations from others. In addition, they do not believe they have the coping abilities to handle the potential criticisms they may or may not encounter. This results in avoidance and sometimes use of drugs or alcohol to cope. When they avoid the situations the anxiety goes down, but the result is often depression and loneliness.
Social phobia is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It may be present in all social situations or it may appear in only certain situations, such as speaking in public. The good news is that Social Phobia is often treated relatively quickly with effective cutting-edge CBT techniques.