By David Bonham-Carter
Social anxiety, also sometimes known as social phobia, is a condition in which you experience high levels of anxiety about being criticised by or judged in a negative way by others. In some surveys as many as 10% of people have been found to suffer from the condition, although it was not commonly recognised as a form of anxiety disorder until the 1980s. If you suffer from social anxiety then you may experience some or all of the following:
- Extreme worry that in public places such as at meetings, work or when shopping that other people will be watching you and finding fault with you
- Severe feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and a sense that other people are more intelligent than you or that you have nothing to say to them that will be of value
- Fear of going into a situation where you are expected to contribute to a discussion or give a presentation
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism from others
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, blushing, stammering or shaking when thinking about having to take part in a situation about which you are nervous.
- Perfectionist tendencies – believing that unless you to do something perfectly you have failed
What can you do to if you suffer from social anxiety?