What is Social Phobia?

Social Phobia (also known as Social Anxiety Disorder) is essentially extreme shyness that has snowballed to a point where it interferes with basic aspects of your life. If you have Social Phobia, social interactions as commonplace as talking to a neighbour or buying groceries often provoke an severe amount of anxiety. Most of us with this illness tend to avoid social situations as a way to prevent the emotional pain associated with them. While this may sound bizarre, this doesn't mean that we don't want social contact. Quite the opposite, most social phobics long for company, but the emotional toll often feels too high. As you can imagine, this sort of internal conflict often causes most social phobics even more emotional pain, and we tend to experience a level of self-blame for it.

The first step to learning to live with, and overcoming Social Phobia is knowing and accepting that you have it. Not resenting yourself is a big step for most of us. To get started on that path, you can try a quick self test to see if you might have it. If the test indicates you might, we urge you to see your doctor about it. There are a number of effective treatments, combining medication with therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. There is hope.