Dr James Schaller
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A Subtle Misery that Steals Joy

Social Phobia: Part 1

People with social phobia are functional and their discomfort is subtle. They remind me of people with tiny moles on their back. Most of their suffering is unseen like a tiny back mole on their skin. They do not like it and notice it, but they wear clothes that cover it up -- make adjustments. But someday that mole becomes melanoma and hurts someone severely.

Social phobia is not obvious but it steals peace and contentment.

And it is hardly rare.

About 5-8% of Americans has social phobia.

What is Social Phobia?

It has many different forms. The child that is shy, the many musicians and actors who fear going on stage, the child who fears school, the business person who hates speaking at work ... a person with social phobia expects to be judged or criticized by others. This fear of being seen negatively by others can cause unpleasant body or emotional feelings.

My concern is if social phobia is not treated, people think their "shyness" is just "who they are." And they suffer in work, relationships and social settings.

Concrete Social Phobia Fears and Thoughts:

  • Public Speaking
  • Blush too easily
  • Sweat in social settings
  • Fear going to school
  • Fear speaking if people will be looking at the
  • Fear deep intimacy
  • Fear sex
  • Many use sedatives to calm their social fears, e.g. alcohol
  • Wonder about their looks and the impression made on others
  • Discussing relationships and feelings is very hard
  • Attacks of uncontrolled anxiety suddenly appear
  • In some public settings you lack self-confidence
  • In public you get confused about how to act
  • Discomfort or panic when being watched or observed while doing something
  • Fear of meeting important people, e.g., a new boss, a professor or "authority"
  • Insecurity or feeling like an outsider in some social situations
  • Avoiding or tolerating social settings with anxious discomfort
  • You would rather be punched than have to "perform" socially
  • Feeling hot, very uncomfortable or embarrassed when speaking or presenting formally
  • You hate meeting new people and feel shy with them
  • In social settings you are too aware of being intensely evaluated or "checked out" by others
  • If you are in a social setting you hate you get a rush of bodily discomfort or anxiety
  • You hate being looked at while speaking, entering a room, swallowing, writing, talking or making phone calls in public
  • You are more nervous or uncomfortable than others in "performance" or social settings

Further materials on Social Phobia are in Next Parts.

My Best for a Contented Life!

Dr. J

Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
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