Social phobia anxiety is the fear of exposure to public scrutiny. These individuals are the opposite of extroverts who relish in the limelight of public speaking, going to parties, meeting new friends, joining groups, talking on the phone, eating in public, and/or striking up a conversation with the rich and famous at the drop of a hat. No, those with social phobia anxiety see these situations as painful because they expect to be humiliated or put under a microscope by others. A person who has this condition has a certain sense of paranoia believing that the Christmas office party can only turn out poorly. They assume that they will mispronounce a word, spill the eggnog, or get a high heel or two caught in that foreboding crack in the hardwood floor.
The truth of the matter is that we all feel a little anxiety from time to time. Examples of this would be moving to a different city, changing jobs, or picking your future wife up for your first date. These are normal feelings that while potentially traumatic certainly don't qualify for social phobia anxiety.
Let's look at four criteria for social phobia anxiety.
*You steer clear of fearful situations as much as possible or participate in them only with great discomfort.
*You recognize that your fear is greater than the situation really warrants but can't seem to hold back the fearful thoughts.
*When thrust into a fearful social situation, your anxiety increase exponentially.
*You are paralyzed by the thought of being observed by unfamiliar people who may be evaluating you in some way.
*You have an ongoing problem with drug and alcohol use. It seems to help with your social phobia anxiety.
Next let's examine how these four cornerstones might look in the life of Sara.
Sara been invited to the alcoholic's anonymous alcohol free karaoke night at a friend's house. She is petrified about the event but figures she can reside in the shadows like she has done so many times before, and who knows maybe get a good laugh or two. Upon arriving Sara is shocked to find that the host has made a list of karaoke performers and she is number one. Her first feeling is shock but then she says to herself it is only karaoke, how bad could it be? Then her social phobia kicks in and she gets crazy nervous wondering what her friends will think and wondering whether the dress she has on is entertainment worthy. The anxiety is just too much to handle and she excuses herself from the party. Once back in the safety of her home she feels better but worries that her hasty exit may have offended someone. Sara figures maybe a 5 or 6 stiff drinks might take the edge off and help her forget about the dreadful events of the evening.
In summary, social phobia anxiety is a very real condition affecting millions of decent, hard working people. There are many different types of treatment available including cognitive behavior therapy, complementary therapies, and herbal remedies. Herbal remedies for social anxiety have started to gain popularity in recent years as a safe alternative treatment and are a treatment option worth considering.