Social Anxiety affects literally thousands of people worldwide. Social phobia is probably one of the most common phobias there is. It is quite simply:
“a fear of any situation where the sufferer is likely to feel on the spot, embarrassed or fearing being judged by others “
Those suffering with social anxiety feel very self conscious around other people and worry about how others ‘ see ‘ them or what they may think about them. Often those suffering with social anxiety, know on a rational level that others are not actually judging them, yet this knowledge does nothing to dispel the anxiety one feels in these situations.
The severity of the social anxiety can vary in different situations, and ordinary everyday tasks such as speaking directly on the phone, meeting people in social settings. Public speaking or even maintaining eye contact can be a very painful and embarrassing process. It is a performance related condition so any situation that involves scrutiny from others, will heighten the anxiety and thus enhance the individuals specific symptom.
Avoidance of these situations becomes paramount to the individual as they become acutely aware of the physical symptoms of their anxiety, fearing that others will notice these symptoms and therefore judge them.