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You can now sit in the pub, do a group exercise class and hug loved ones. But the easing of coronavirus rules in England, Scotland and Wales isn't exciting for everyone - for those with social anxiety, life after lockdown can be a scary prospect. Social anxiety disorder is a fear of social situations and includes worrying about meeting strangers, how to act with groups of friends and generally feeling self-conscious.


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Personality makes each of us different. Our style of behavior, how we react, our worldview, thoughts, feelings, and how we interact in relationships are all part of what makes up our personality. Having a healthy personality enables a person to function in daily life. Everyone experiences stress at some time, but, a healthy personality helps us to face the challenges and move on.

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Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is a long-term and overwhelming fear of social situations. It's a common problem that usually starts during the teenage years. It can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life.

When to get help for social anxiety

For some people it gets better as they get older. But for many people it does not go away on its own without treatment. It's important to get help if you are having symptoms.

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There are treatments that can help you manage it. Social anxiety is more than shyness.

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It's a fear that does not go away and affects everyday activities, self confidence, relationships and work or school life. Many people occasionally worry about social situations, but someone with social anxiety feels overly worried before, during and after them.

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Many people with social anxiety also have other mental health issues, such as depressiongeneralised anxiety disorder or panic disorder. It's a good idea to see a GP if you think you have social anxiety, especially if it's having a big impact on your life. Asking for help can be difficult, but a GP will be aware that many people struggle with social anxiety and will try to put you at ease.

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They'll ask you about your feelings, behaviours and symptoms to find out about your anxiety in social situations. If they think you could have social anxiety, you'll be referred to a mental health specialist to have a full assessment and talk about treatments. Self-help can help reduce social anxiety and you might find it a useful first step before trying other treatments.

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about anxiety, fear and panic and how to manage them. You may also find it useful to read an NHS self-help guide for social anxiety.

Symptoms of social anxiety

CBT is generally considered the best treatment, but other treatments may help if it does not work or you do not want to try it. There are several charities, support groups and online forums for people with social anxiety and other anxiety disorders, including:.

Speak to a GP if you're worried about your. They'll ask you about your child's behaviour and talk to them about how they feel. Treatments for social anxiety in children are similar to those for teenagers and adults, although medicines are not normally used. You may be given training and self-help materials to use between sessions.

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It may also take place in a small group. Animated video explaining self-referral to psychological therapies services for stress, anxiety or depression. last reviewed: 13 March Next review due: 13 March Home Mental health Mental health conditions Back to Mental health conditions. Social anxiety social phobia. Symptoms of social anxiety Social anxiety is more than shyness.

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You may have social anxiety if you: worry about everyday activities, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, working or shopping avoid or worry a lot about social activities, such as group conversations, eating with company and parties always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushingsweating Looking to avoid the crowds today feeling antisocial yet appearing incompetent find it difficult to do things when others are watching — you may feel like you're being watched and judged all the time fear being criticised, avoid eye contact or have low self-esteem often have symptoms like feeling sick, sweating, trembling or a pounding heartbeat palpitations have panic attackswhere you have an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety, usually only for a few minutes Many people with social anxiety also have other mental health issues, such as depressiongeneralised anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

When to get help for social anxiety It's a good idea to see a GP if you think you have social anxiety, especially if it's having a big impact on your life. It's a common problem and there are treatments that can help. Audio: Anxiety control training In this audio guide, a doctor explains how you can take control of anxiety. Media last reviewed: 2 March Media review due: 2 March Video: Psychological therapies for stress, anxiety and depression Animated video explaining self-referral to psychological therapies services for stress, anxiety or depression.

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Media last reviewed: 5 September Media review due: 5 September