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Anxiety Disorders

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What's it Like to Have Social Anxiety Disorder?


Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia and like all phobias it involves anticipatory anxiety, fear and panic when facing the object or situation that scares us.

Imagine someone who has a phobia of spiders and panics whenever they have to face one. Replace the spider with people (having to face them or do things in front of them)... this is what it is like to have social anxiety disorder.

With social phobia we can get scared just thinking about upcoming situations involving doing things in front of others. In the actual situation we watch our self continuously, we are anxious and it can (and often does) turn into panic.

Sadly the situation (like many anxiety disorders) often becomes a cycle of:-

'failing' > feeling bad > 'failing' again > feeling even worse... etc.

With every 'failure and 'feeling bad/worse' the underlying problem gets stronger. This usually leads to avoidance behaviour. Unfortunately the more we avoid things, the more things we have to avoid.

Rooted in the deep and real instinctual fears of our primitive ancestors where a fear of strangers was necessary for survival (for they may attack us, steal from us or kill us) and rejection from the tribe could also lead to isolation and death – the main focus of modern day social anxiety disorder is rejection.

When we have to do things in front of others, we are scared that they will laugh at us, criticize us and, most importantly, that they will reject us.

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Free Anxiety Ebook

More Resources:
Scientific Journals

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Anxiety Books 

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New Help for Anxiety Disorders and Depression

Excessive and persistent anxiety, uncontrollable worrying, panic attacks that come out of the blue, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, irrational fears and phobias (particularly social phobia), severe depression...

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