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Do I Have Social Anxiety?

Many of us who suffer from addiction and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety also struggle with a different illness known as social anxiety. We might not have identified our experiences as being symptoms of social anxiety. We might not have associated our difficulty with social interaction with being a form of mental illness, but for many of us it can be. We find it so hard to interact with people, even in comfortable and casual situations, that we avoid social settings altogether. We skip out on going to parties and holiday gatherings. We make excuses as to why we can’t attend work events. We avoid seeing family and friends. We have a hard time with public spaces, including using public transportation to commute to work, or being in an elevator with anyone else. We know consciously that social interaction is a challenge for us, but we often don’t understand why. What are some of the underlying fears that fuel social anxiety?

Some of us are naturally introverted, we love to be alone, and we crave solitude, but then when it’s time to be around people we can enjoy ourselves. Others of us have such a hard time with social interaction that we panic at the mere thought of it. What are we so afraid of? Many of us are afraid of the judgment we feel we’ll receive from other people. We’re afraid of being vulnerable and feeling exposed. We might be afraid of the potential for confrontation or conflict that might arise. We might have experienced being looked down upon, belittled or demeaned in the past, whether by people close to us, or by an acquaintance or stranger. However it happened, whatever the circumstance, that judgment might have been traumatic for us and it may have gone on to impact the way in which we view ourselves. The experience of feeling judged may have tainted our self-worth and our self-image. We might have been conditioned from an early age to doubt ourselves, to hold ourselves to unrealistic and harmful expectations of perfection, and to be overly critical of ourselves. We develop fears of being judged, rejected and shunned that are so powerful we feel compelled instinctively to avoid people and social settings altogether.

These are just some of the many fears that might be contributing to your social anxiety. When we don’t understand our fears, they can be so intense that we experience them as severe social anxiety, phobias, complexes, panic attacks and thought disorders. To help ourselves heal from our social anxiety, along with our addictions and other mental health issues, it’s so important to examine the deeply rooted fears driving our challenging issues.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.