Extreme anxiety about what they will think of me. Intense and uncontrollable fear of rejection from others, of sticking our paw or making a fool of ourselves in front of people and blocking us before. These are some of the symptoms of social phobia which, as explained by the clinical psychologist of Ribera health groupLucía Fernández, we must not confuse fear with crowds, people and, as is happening quite often in this pandemic, with the contagion of Covid.
But social phobia is more than anxiety and fear. At least, more than these words imply, used too often in a close and distant environment. “Social phobia is a disorder that is characterized by an intense anxiety or fear of one or more social situations in which a person is evaluated or evaluated negatively by other people”, explains Lucía Fernández, who works as therapist at Ribera Polusa Hospital and to the group’s online psychological therapy program, Minds. Because it doesn’t have to be like that.
However, this extreme fear can lead a person to isolate themselves and/or avoid contact with other people. It is not necessarily linked to a public intervention. In some people it manifests itself, even in small circles, with groups of friends or acquaintances, and it manifests itself in adults, in work environments, but also in places of recreation, or even in children, teenagers and young people , at school or university, although all the experts point to the importance of working on these young profiles to keep this fear or anxiety under control and not lead to a bigger problem in adulthood.
Feeling like a burden that one is the center of attention can trigger this disorder that the clinical psychologist of the Ribera group explains in this video.
What are the symptoms of social phobia
The most common symptoms of social phobia are:
- Rapid heart beats
- dry mouth
- Stomach upset or nausea
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sensation that the mind goes blank
With the help of a professional, a person with social phobia can learn to control this extreme fear. Recognizing that we suffer from this anxiety in certain environments is already a first step towards overcoming it. Going to therapy is the best option to receive specialized help in this regard and to overcome the barriers that limit ourselves in this regard. A professional will be the one to help us replant these thoughts, to provide us with tools to develop without fear or anxiety in these social environments, they will allow us to set goals, but also to be patient with the times. One does not heal when one decides to heal. All therapy takes time, and Minds, for example, is a tool that facilitates specific programs for these cases.
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