Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an overwhelming fear of social situations, being watched or judged on their social performance. It is a common problem that usually starts during the teenage years. It can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life (NHS, 2021)

For some people, it gets better as they get older. But for many people, it does not go away on its own without treatment.

The signs and symptoms of social anxiety include:

  • Fear of speaking in a group
  • Fear about starting a conversation
  • Public speaking
  • Speaking on the phone
  • Meeting new people
  • Speaking with certain figures e.g. a doctor or teacher
  • Eating/drinking in front of others
  • Going to a social event
  • Fear of using public toilets

Support available:

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust have produced a range of self-help guides, available to download here.

No More Panic provides valuable information for sufferers and carers of people with panic, anxiety, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Its purpose is to provide members with support, advice and a chance to meet like-minded people and make friends along the way.

Social anxiety can be treated via psychological therapies. Visit our service lookup here to see if we deliver a talking therapy service in your local area. Alternatively, you can visit the NHS website here and enter your postcode to find your local service.