Social Anxiety

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Social anxiety occurs when we are overly concerned about being humiliated, embarrassed, evaluated, or rejected by others in social situations. Everyone experiences social anxiety some of the time, but for a minority of people, the frequency and intensity of social anxiety is intense enough to interfere with meaningful activities (e.g., relationships, academics, career aspirations). When a person’s level of social anxiety is excessive, social interactions are either dreaded or avoided, social cues and emotions are difficult to understand, and positive thoughts and emotions are rare, then that person may be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (or social phobia). There are effective treatments—with both medications and psychotherapy–for this problem. Unfortunately, only a small proportion of people with social anxiety disorder actually seek treatment.


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Todd Kashdan