Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
With social anxiety disorder we fear situations where we have to do things in front of others and there is the
possibility that they may judge, ridicule or reject us. It's not about being a bit shy or a bit embarrassed about it or that we feel
apprehensive about doing things in front of others, it's that we are panic-stricken.
Indeed, we can often feel as scared about doing some task in front of other people as if we were going to face a firing squad.
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 and having to face
them or do things in front of them. This is what it feels like to have social anxiety disorder.
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 lead to isolation and death, the main focus
of modern day social anxiety disorder is rejection.
"An abnormal, intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism or object"
(The Collins English Dictionary)