Humans are social beings, and in, many crucial areas of their lives, such as family, education, employment, leisure, dating, and relationships, are highly influenced by their capacity to relate to others comfortably.
A specific type of anxiety condition known as phobias makes people scared, worried, and causes them to avoid certain situations or objects. The level of worry and panic is excessive compared to the real threat. There are numerous distinct phobias.
People who have social anxiety worry that their behaviour or performance will come off as incorrect. They frequently worry that their anxiousness will be obvious—that they will blush, sweat, gag, tremor, or have a quivering voice. They also fear that they won’t be able to find the right words to explain themselves or that they will lose their line of thought.
Some social phobias are associated with particular performance settings; they only cause anxiety when a person must engage in a specific activity in front of others. The same activity carried out alone does not cause worry.
People with social anxiety are frequently anxious in the following circumstances:
- speaking in public
- performing in front of an audience, such as singing or playing an instrument at church
- having meals with others
- making new friends
- Talking to someone
- use a public lavatory
Anxiety in numerous social situations is a feature of a more widespread form of social phobia.
In all forms of social phobia, sufferers worry that if they fall short of others’ expectations or come under scrutiny in social situations, they will be humiliated, rejected, or offended.
People could or might not be aware that their concerns are exaggerated and unjustified.
Therapies for social phobia
It has been established that exposure therapy, commonly referred to as systematic desensitisation, is a successful phobia treatment strategy. This type of therapy involves exposing a patient to the phobia’s trigger in modest, steady increments. It can help a patient learn to confront the phobia’s trigger in daily life without suffering any serious side effects. An individual who is terrified of birds, for instance, might be encouraged to discuss their fear with a mental health professional in the privacy of an exposure therapy session. After viewing bird images, the person might go to a pet store to observe birds in cages from a safe distance. Later, they might spend some time outdoors in a park or another place where birds congregate.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
It assists patients in therapy in recognising and addressing thought patterns that may be detrimental to their wellbeing, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is regarded as an effective approach of treating phobias. This could help them identify the thought or belief that is fuelling their phobia.
Some people may benefit from hypnotherapy to manage and get rid of phobias. Hypnotherapy involves guiding the patient with a phobia via a guided visualisation procedure, which is most frequently led by a therapist. They might engage in self-soothing exercises while imagining they are confronting the phobia’s source.
Eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing
For those who have phobias as a result of a traumatic event in the past, eye movement and desensitisation and reprocessing, or EMDR, may be beneficial. Desensitizing phobia-related memories, imagining a situation in which the phobia is vanquished while employing eye movements to calm fear reactions, and eventually actual exposure to the phobia’s trigger are all possible components of EMDR therapy.
Therapy for phobias may also include relaxation exercises such as breathing exercises, physical activities, and visualisation. In particular, visualisation may aid in improving one’s ability to complete activities since it may be simpler to confront a fear when one first mentally lays out each step.
may be good for some people who suffer from phobias, since many people may find that discussing shared experiences and coping mechanisms with their support group is an effective step in treating a fear.
Self-care for phobias
Dealing with a phobia on a daily basis can be difficult, particularly if it prevents you from doing anything required or important, like going to work, interacting with others, making phone calls, or going shopping.
It frequently happens that the phobia’s target can appear at any time. In certain situations, a person might not have time to seek professional assistance; instead, they might need to adopt relaxation strategies to manage and prevent their panic response from intensifying. People may employ the following coping mechanisms when compelled to confront a phobia:
- concentrating on or regulating respiration.
- Find out what your phobia is. A phobia’s related terror reaction can occasionally be slowed down by education about the phobia’s trigger.
- Progressively relaxing the muscles Practice tensing and relaxing various muscular groups while concentrating solely on that task.
- Exercises that promote relaxation may help those who are experiencing panic or fear due to a phobia, but it’s crucial to receive professional care if the fear that is connected to the phobia persists or worsens.