Social Anxiety

social anxiety

Social Anxiety

By Daisy Lee

A common type of anxiety disorder is known as social anxiety disorder, or social phobia. Many anxiety disorders are characterized by an extreme fear of a certain type of object or situation. In the case of social anxiety, a person has an extreme fear of and avoidance of social situations or situations involving people who may be watching or judging them. Often, this intense anxiety in social situations can interfere with one’s social, educational, and/or occupational functioning and can even prevent people from going to school or work. Many people with social anxiety might avoid going out and socializing in order to avoid experiencing potential anxiety and stress. Social anxiety can also make one reluctant to meet new people, which is why many with social anxiety may not have a large circle of friends and may also have trouble making new friends. When people with social anxiety find themselves in a situation in which they have to socialize or have to put on a performance or presentation, they commonly experience these symptoms:

  • Intense anxiety and distress
  • Blushing, sweating, and trembling
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Rigid body posture
  • Poor eye contact
  • Voice tremors

Social anxiety disorder is often heritable and can be effectively treated. Certain forms of psychotherapy, specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be a very effective treatment for social anxiety. Certain antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also be helpful. If you or someone you know is struggling with social anxiety, speak with one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists. They can help you overcome this often debilitating anxiety. Contact us at our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 respectively to set up an appointment. For more information, visit





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