Social anxiety disorder is classified as a type of anxiety disorder. Certain social situations e.g. meeting people for the first time, going on a date, having an interview for a new job or perhaps being asked a question in class can cause a person with social anxiety disorder to feel anxious.
Sometimes something as apparently simple as going to a public toilet or drinking or eating in front of others can also cause anxiety.
For sufferers, the fear is that they are being judged and may be humiliated, abandoned or rejected.
Social Anxiety Disorder can affect people in many ways ranging from mild discomfort in certain social situations to extreme anxiety preventing someone from leaving their home. Avoidance tactics are often present in sufferers where they worry about upcoming events and ultimately they don’t attend for fear of humiliation or embarrassment.
Performance anxiety also comes under the umbrella of Social Anxiety Disorder however in this case, sufferers fear their poor performance leading to embarrassment. This can occur whilst giving a presentation at work, playing sports or performing in a concert or play.
In all cases, the basic fears are of loneliness, abandonment and rejection or a combination of these.
Social anxiety disorder has its roots in very early childhood experiences. A young child who is laughed at, mocked or not taken seriously can rapidly develop a fear of embarrassment or humiliation. These early experiences are stored in the subconscious part of the brain and lay dormant until they are triggered by the subconscious, identifying a perceived danger again sometimes years later.
Social Anxiety is not uncommon; it is thought that as many as 10% of the population suffer to some degree. In the absence of treatment, the condition can worsen and last for many years or maybe a lifetime.
As discussed above, early childhood experiences shape us into the adults we are now. Those events cannot be altered because they actually happened. What can be done however is to go back to those hidden memories using Regression Hypnotherapy, re-experience what that child felt, perceived and learnt. Then to reframe those perceptions as an adult rather than the confused young child. This prevents the childlike reaction from being triggered again as an adult in a perceived dangerous situation in the present day.
I am an award winning hypnotherapist with 18 years of experience in treating people suffering with social anxiety disorder. Call now to book an initial consultation or just a chat to see how you can finally be free from your fear.