Social anxiety

Social anxiety or social phobia leads to a marked increase in distress when you are with other people.

You may have distorted beliefs relating to others being critical of you or the possibility that you may do something embarrassing. In the extreme you may avoid speaking in front of other people and withdraw from social situations.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists identified 2 types of social phobia: general social phobia and specific social phobia. General social phobia may involve concerns about other people looking at you and noticing what you are doing. You may dislike being introduced to people, going to restaurants or shops and eating or drinking in public. This may also impinge on ability to be assertive with other people.

Specific social phobia may effect those who need to perform to some degree in public an example may be those who have to deliver presentations and end up sweating, stammering becoming confused and ceasing to function. Over time, confidence and self-esteem are affected.