More than true shyness, social phobia is the fear of others . Around 5% of the population would be affected by this disorder. Anxiety arises from the slightest confrontation with a stranger and can quickly turn into panic . How to overcome this disabling state on a daily basis? We take stock!
What is social phobia?
It is not about misanthropy! But more of a real anguish when a person comes face to face with someone they don’t know, or worse, when they are immersed in a mass of people. Social phobia has long remained an ignored disease. Nothing is more frightening than the crowd when an individual is social phobic . At the same time, we can speak of agoraphobia . The emotions increase tenfold. It becomes impossible to express yourself or to concentrate. The person may have a tendency to blush, they may sweat, or they may shake.
The essential fear associated with social phobia is that of being observed and judged negatively. Embarrassment becomes self-shame. The person deprives himself of certain situations in order not to face fear or makes inordinate efforts to endure mundane situations. And this, without it being visible so as not to attract even more attention. Several situations can be feared such as performance situations (exam, public speaking), self-affirmation situations where you have to give your opinion. But also observation situations (drinking under someone’s gaze for example) or interaction situations (talking about oneself).
How to treat a social phobia?
People affected by social phobia are in a situation of avoidance throughout their lives. Yet there are ways to treat this disorder. It is possible to combine drugs and psychotherapy .
Some psychotropic drugs can be advised at first to relieve the social phobic and prevent it from being obsessed with the gaze of others. They will have a “Starter” effect. This will go through beta blockers in cases of performance anxiety or for generalized social phobias. They will be effective in a limited time. The tranquilizers are often used but are not most effective …
What you need to know is that there is no miracle drug to cure your social phobia. It can be temporary support and requires minimal engagement with psychotherapy.
To avoid developing signs of discomfort throughout one’s life (blushing, sweating, etc.), exercises can be implemented to deal with the situations in question. A therapist will accompany you, so you can then reproduce solitary daily exercises. Each corrective experience is associated with an action on cognition, that is to say on the thought process. It is about overcoming the situation “if I speak, he will judge me”, for example by focusing on the subject in question to avoid blocking .
Several 45-minute sessions allow you to face your fears. Role play and muscle relaxation are used . This will involve getting the subject to anticipate the negative reaction by teaching him to say Stop when it appears. Thus, we will oppose logical reasoning to irrational processes.
Don’t feel like you’re apart. Being a social phobic is not a shame. You deserve to feel at ease in society for a more serene and peaceful life.