Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

Social Anxiety

Edited by Jill Wright,

social anxiety

Social anxiety is the third largest mental health problem and most common anxiety disorder worldwide today. Sufferers are characterised by irrational fears of social situations, being negatively judged and evaluated by other people, provoking feelings of embarrassment, inadequacy and insecurity. Often perceived by outsiders as simply being shy, awkward or a bit different, for those experiencing it, feelings of distress may present as physical symptoms such blushing, sweating, trembling, palpitations, nausea and lead to panic attacks, emphasizing how not-simple it is.

Trying to tackle this on your own can be difficult, as attempts to face your fears may not make them go away, making the problem even worse. But with millions of people all over the world that suffer from social anxiety, you are not alone; there is help and effective ways to manage and overcome it.

Research and clinical evidence has shown that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has been highly successful in producing positive permanent change in treating social anxiety, through both individual and group sessions. By addressing the underlying thoughts and behaviours, psychologists are able to help clients address these issues, and in turn change the neural pathways that associate these irrational thoughts and feelings with social situations.

Psychology Melbourne offers classes on managing social anxiety, giving you the knowledge, practical strategies and coping techniques to change your thought processes and overcome the anxiety, long after the classes have ended.

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About the editor, Jill Wright

Jill Wright (MAPS, AAFT, AICD) is the Director and Principal Psychologist at Psychology Melbourne. Jill was twice elected General Director of the Australian Psychological Society and established the Study Group Network. Find out more about Jill Wright.