Social phobia is one of the types of phobia that people turn to psychotherapy for the most. However, some people do not realize that they are developing it and think it is another characteristic of their way of being, or refuse to face that they have a problem that needs to be addressed. contact professionals.
In this article we will see how social phobia impacts people’s quality of life, To facilitate the detection of the appearance of this psychological disorder and to intervene as quickly as possible psychotherapy. Additionally, in this way, we will review the implications of letting a disorder of this nature grow within us.
How Does Social Phobia Affect Us?
This is a summary of the different ways in which social phobia affects the quality of life of the people who develop it.
1. Complicate everyday life with avoidance routines
People with social phobia adopt their habits to avoid, as much as possible, contact with people with whom they do not have a certain confidence. This happens, for example, to try to buy without leaving home, by placing orders online.
2. It’s almost impossible to meet new people
The implications of this social phobia effect include not being able to expand the circle of friends, as well as meeting people with whom to start a possible love affair.
3. Depletes physical health
Social phobia not only has adverse effects on a person’s mental health; It also has a negative impact on physical health, because promotes social isolation and sedentarism, As well as increased exposure to addictions or anxiety-reducing activities that are not good for the body, such as compulsions, binge eating, trichotillomania, etc.
4. It generates a constant fear of rejection
Although the social life of people with this disorder is very poor, the fear of being rejected or ridiculed does not cease.
How to distinguish it from shyness?
The easiest way to understand the difference between social phobia and shyness is to understand that the latter is a personality trait that in some people is expressed consistently throughout the years more or less from adolescence.
On the other hand, as we have seen, social phobia has a very important learned and context-related component, As it is based in part on expectations about the social support available, and may also have been developed on the basis of traumatic experiences which cause the person to feel very vulnerable and emotionally disconnected from the way others live life .
Shy people do not have a high enough likelihood of developing psychological disorders social phobia if associated with a high risk of developing this type of disorder. Specifically, these people are more prone to depression, substance abuse, other anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Finally, the way in which shyness is expressed also differs from that of social phobia. In situations of interacting with strangers or semi-strangers, people with social phobia suffer from symptoms that can never be hidden and often severely hamper communication, such as breathing problems, tachycardia, or tremors. . those who are shy reveal it in a more subtle wayAs with hot flashes of the face, the tendency to avoid eye contact or cold sweats in cases where the nerves are numerous.
On another side, shyness is expressed mainly in times of social interactionWhile social phobia also expresses its symptoms when no one is around. This is so because those who have developed this disorder often adopt strategies to avoid exposure to others as much as possible.
The importance of seeking help in psychotherapy
Fortunately, social phobia can be treated with psychotherapy., Which is effective in reducing your symptoms to the point of weakening them enough for the person to enjoy a full social life if other disorders do not come into play.
The professionals of the Psychode Psychology Institute we are trained to treat all types of anxiety disorders including social phobia and shyness issues that are not a diagnosed psychological disorder. You can find us in our centers in Madrid and Alicante. To contact us or see more information about our services, click on this link.
- Chavira, DA; Stein, MB; Malcarne, VL (2002). “Explore the relationship between shyness and social phobia”. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 16 (6): pages 585 to 598.
- Torgrud, LJ, Walker, JR, Murray, L., Cox, BJ, Chartier, M. and Kjernisted, KD (2004). Perceived social support deficit associated with generalized social phobia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, 33 (2): pages 87-96.