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Social Phobia

Social phobia also known as social anxiety disorder is a condition in which activities involving interacting with others in everyday situations cause an excessive amount of fear and self-consciousness. Some common fears include meeting new people, speaking up in a meeting, eating in public and attending parties. People believe that they will be judged negatively or that others will have a low opinion of them in social and performance situations. There is a considerable amount of worry about being embarrassed, making a mistake and appearing anxious to others. People avoid situations which involve interacting with others. Although avoidance may allow the person to feel more comfortable in the short run, self-confidence is affected and opportunities for professional and career advancement may be affected. People with social phobia realize that their fear is excessive and out of proportion for the situation, but this insight is not sufficient to relieve the symptoms. Psychological treatment  involves cognitive behavioral therapy including exposure to the feared situation in gradual and planned ways. With practice people learn to change their way of thinking, behaving and reacting to the situation and develop confidence in their ability to competently face their fear.