Most people can relate to the feeling of being anxious when meeting new people or feeling uncomfortable at a party or social event. You might remember feeling nervous when you needed to give a speech or speak in public. Feeling nervous or anxious in social situations is normal. There are very few people who feel perfectly comfortable in a large group of people. For some people, the anxiety they feel in social situations is unmanageable and requires the support of an anxiety treatment program. This kind of extreme emotional response to being in public is called social anxiety.
Social anxiety affects about 200,000 people in the United States every year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most people reduced their social activities, and most large social gatherings were canceled. As the country begins to re-open, many of us may be receiving invitations to parties, weddings, and other large social gatherings. People with social anxiety may worry about how they will adapt to post-pandemic life. For many, starting an anxiety treatment program may help them adapt to the increased social activity that accompanies the end of a pandemic.
If you or someone you love are living with social anxiety, you are not alone. Treatment can help you manage your anxiety symptoms so that you can be more comfortable in social situations. Call 833.625.0458 for more information, or fill out an online intake form here.
Recognizing Social Anxiety
Since many people feel uncomfortable or anxious at parties or other large social gatherings, it might be difficult to recognize the symptoms of social anxiety. Social anxiety involves extreme discomfort during social interactions. This anxiety disrupts people’s lives and causes them to change their behavior. Symptoms include:
- Worrying others will judge you
- Thinking you will embarrass yourself in public
- Intense fear of talking with strangers
- Worrying excessively that people will notice how anxious you are
- Avoiding social interactions
- Dread of being the center of attention–such as having your birthday acknowledged publicly or giving a speech
- Spending a lot of time and energy analyzing your behavior after social interactions
- Anticipating the worst outcome in social situations
In addition to these thoughts and behaviors, many people experience physical symptoms like blushing, sweating, shallow breathing, increased heart rate, or nausea.
The Effects of the Pandemic on People With Social Anxiety
As society essentially shut down during the height of the pandemic, many people had to take a break from all social interactions. It might have felt like a welcome reprieve from the pressures to be socially active for people with social anxiety. As the country opens up, people return to work, gather for events, and generally feel more comfortable spending time together.
Over the many months of isolation, people with social anxiety may have noticed an increase in their symptoms. They may feel very anxious about conversations with neighbors or coworkers or worry about how to act when they see friends or family members. Some people who did not experience social anxiety before the pandemic may find that they have similar worries.
Learn More About the Anxiety Treatment Program at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health
If you or someone you love need the support of an anxiety treatment program, please reach out to the staff at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health. We work to empower people to manage their mental health and live full, self-directed lives. In addition to our social anxiety treatment programs, we offer:
If you are ready for life-changing care, we are ready to work with you. Call today at 833.625.0458 or fill out an online intake form here.