Social anxiety disorder can manifest itself in many ways. We are all familiar with feeling nervous in some social situations. Walking into a room full of people you don’t know, going on a date, or making a speech are likely to make us feel, understandably, anxious. However, social anxiety disorder is a persistent and debilitating condition. For people with this, everyday social interactions cause extreme fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated. This leads to an avoidance of contact and can, in extreme cases, lead to isolation, loneliness, and agoraphobia. There can also be a tendency to rely on alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms.
Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder are feelings of panic: a fast heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, and feeling confused – often described as an “out of body experience”. Sufferers will try to avoid situations that bring on these uncomfortable feelings such as work, interviews, meetings, social situations, and eating in public.
In my work, I see many young people who struggle with this disorder and very often they appear outwardly confident and sociable. They keep their social anxiety disorder hidden, which is exhausting and has a very disruptive effect on their daily lives. This constant fear of being scrutinised has a huge psychological impact and they feel powerless to function as they would like. They also feel no-one would understand and that they are alone in feeling as they do. They are not alone. It is more common than people realise.
Social anxiety disorder is different from shyness and normally starts around the age of 13 years old. The first step is to talk to someone about it and to understand that it is more than just feeling self-conscious or apprehensive. With professional support, you can learn coping skills, improve your interaction with others, and feel less vulnerable.
How Hypnotherapy can help social anxiety disorder
Hypnotherapy is a powerful way to combat social anxiety disorder by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones and to see yourself the way you really want to be. By becoming aware of why we feel the way we do, it is possible to develop new ways to communicate and to feel calm, confident, and in control.
If any of the above resonates with you, do get in touch and learn more about the support I offer.