Social anxiety: causes, symptoms and treatments

Social anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is an intense fear of being judged, ridiculed or rejected in social situations. People with social anxiety usually feel extremely uncomfortable in social situations and may even avoid them altogether.

Treatment for social anxiety can include psychotherapy, medication and self-help strategies. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help people to identify and change unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours. Medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also be used to reduce symptoms. Self-help strategies can include relaxation techniques, mindfulness and practicing social skills. This article will provide information on the causes, symptoms and treatments for social anxiety.

Causes of Social Anxiety:

The exact cause of social anxiety is unknown; however, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. It is more common in people who have had a history of negative social experiences, such as bullying or rejection. It is also more common in people who are naturally shy or introverted.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety:

Common symptoms of social anxiety include intense feelings of fear and anxiety when in social situations, fear of being judged or rejected, avoiding social situations, feeling embarrassed in social situations, trouble making conversation and difficulty in making friends. People may also experience mental symptoms, such as worrying about saying the wrong thing, ruminating about the negative consequences of an event and a fear of being embarrassed or humiliated.

Treatment of Social Anxiety:

There are a number of treatments available for social anxiety treatment. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most commonly used treatment and it helps individuals to identify and challenge negative thoughts and behavior patterns.

 Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications can also be used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy to help reduce symptoms. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery, can help to reduce the physical signs of anxiety. Finally, lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can also help to reduce symptoms of social anxiety.


It can cause intense feelings of fear and anxiety in social situations and can lead to difficulty making friends and engaging in social activities. Although the exact cause of social anxiety is unknown, there are a number of treatments available that can help to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.