This anxiety may not only presents emotionally, but also physically. It can be difficult for someone with social anxiety to maintain eye contact with others or to talk with a stranger. Trembling, muscle tension, uncontrollable blushing, and gastric issues are also common when experiencing social phobia. Understandably, these symptoms often make the sufferer want to isolate and avoid contact with people.
Why do certain people develop social phobia? The exact cause is unknown, but there are hypotheses that the anxiety is grounded in either genetics, environment, or traumatic occurrences in the life of the sufferer. Whatever the cause, and as with other anxiety disorders, the most maddening feature is the individual experiencing the distress understands that their reaction to certain social situations is unfounded and irrational, yet it persists.
Social phobia has a dramatic effect on an individual’s life. Party invitations may be received with dread. Sufferers, at times, may miss out on work events, friends’ weddings, and romance because of discomforting fears. People with social phobia experience the world quite differently than an introvert or even an extremely shy person; a shy or introverted person doesn’t generally hyperventilate, have heart palpitations, sweat profusely, or experience nausea when walking into a casual cocktail party.
Social phobia is a most common affliction, and there is effective treatment. Most important to recovery is to select a therapist such as Piper Walsh who specializes in anxiety disorders. Dr. Walsh works to develop strategies to assist those suffering from social phobia and help them move back to the social world.