What is Social Phobia (Social Anxiety)?

Social Phobia

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What is Social Phobia (Social Anxiety)?

Social phobia is one of the psychological disorders also called social anxiety. An individual with social phobia may engage in many behaviors in social settings. For example; Such as shyness, shyness, tension and nervousness. It is perfectly normal to have these situations.

However, although they think that these behaviors are a normal situation, on the contrary, these individuals may be unaware that it negatively affects their social life, interactions with people and business life.

At What Age Does Social Phobia (Social Anxiety) Start?

Social phobia can occur at almost any age. Social phobia often begins in adolescence. According to studies, the age range of experiencing social phobia is between 10 and 20 years old. The first symptoms can be seen in preschool ages.
Especially in childhood, as a result of traumatic experiences such as being mocked, excluded, and humiliated, the child may experience extreme shyness, shyness and stress in social environments. In this case, there may be problems arising from the family.

Children learn how to approach social situations with the education they receive from their families, especially during their pre-school development period, and thus their behavior develops in this direction.

What are The Symptoms of Social Phobia?

  • Horror
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Dry Mouth
  • Palpitations, Shortness of Breath,
  • Discomfort in The Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Diarrhea
  • Voice Tremor,
  • Dizziness, Feeling of Fainting
  • Severe Headaches

What are The Conditions That Exaggerate for Social Phobia Symptoms?

  • Being introduced to others in a crowded environment
  • Mentioning or criticizing themselves in the crowd
  • Being watched while doing something or eating
  • Having to say something in a formal setting
  • Meeting someone with authority
  • Making eye contact with people
  • Speaking in front of a crowd, giving a presentation or giving a seminar
  • Being involved in a crowded environment later on
  • Making phone calls in public
  • Eating in public
  • Go to party/entertainment
  • Do not look into the eyes of someone you do not know very well
  • Meeting new people,
  • Job interviews,
  • Mutual sitting in public transportation vehicles,

What are The Psychological Disorders Caused by Social Phobia?

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder,
  • Specific Phobia,
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia),
  • Panic Disorder,
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder,
  • Acute Tension (Stress) Disorder.
  • Depression
  • Agoraphobia

How is Social Phobia Treated?

Social Phobia is a curable disorder. In Social Phobia, medication or psychotherapy is applied depending on the patient’s condition. Of course, one drug treatment may not be enough. However, psychotherapy should also be applied.

Treatment options are as follows:

  • Medication
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Anxiety Management Techniques
  • Social Skills Training


  1. Medication (Antidepressants)

There are several types of medication available for the treatment of Social Phobia, and your doctor will help you determine which one might be right for you.

These ;

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI):

Drugs in this group; Escitalopram, Citalopram, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine are drugs containing active ingredient.

These drugs are;

  • Anxiety Disorders,
  • It is used in the treatment of Depressive and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

Common side effects of SSRIs:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Dry in the mouth
  • Sexual problems, can be listed as.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs):

The drugs in this group are; Desvenlafaxine, Duloxetine, Levomilnacipran are drugs containing the active ingredient.

Unlike depression treatment, SNRI group drugs:

  • Diabetes-related nerve damage
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hot flashes
  • It can also be used in the treatment of anxiety disorder.

Those who use SNRI group antidepressants:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Weakness, fatigue


These drugs are used for short periods when antidepressants start to work, or on demand for anxiety-provoking situations. They are not designed to be used for long periods of time. Lorazepam or alprazolam are its active ingredients.

Beta Blockers:

Some beta-blockers are used to treat or prevent physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heart rate. Propranolol or metoprolol are its active ingredients.

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is a type of psychotherapy that aims to provide healing by targeting the thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with or sustaining the person’s psychological problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of problems. And the most preferred psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Because it helps you quickly identify and deal with specific challenges. It usually requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a segmented fashion.

In Which Diseases Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Applied?

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Panic Attack
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Tic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obesity
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Family Therapies
  • Alcohol-Substance Addiction
  • Smoking Addiction
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Anger Control Disorder
  1. Anxiety Management Techniques

Relaxation training and breathing techniques can help a person manage their anxiety symptoms. Some physical anxiety symptoms can be triggered by hyperventilation (excessive breathing).

Relaxation techniques include:

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Awareness
  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Isometric Relaxation Exercises.
  1. Social Skills Training

Social skills training is a type of psychotherapy that tries to help people develop their social skills so that they can be socially competent. SKT is predominantly a behavioral therapy. However, in some cases, this cognitive therapy can also be used to maximize the success of Social Skills Training. This psychotherapy can be done one-on-one or in a group.

The most basic and common techniques used in Social Skills Training are:

  1. Basic Social Skills Exercises
  2. Learning from Model
  3. Teaching (Verbal Teaching and Teaching by Modeling)
  4. Analysis of Significant Events
  5. Social Problem Solving
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