"With the holidays season upon us, people everywhere are beginning to prepare for parties, get-togethers and gatherings with neighbors, families and friends.
Such occasions are generally festive, but for the millions of Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders, the "season of cheer" can be the "season of fear."
One form of anxiety is called social phobia, or social anxiety disorder. As with many psychological conditions, the diagnosis is made when feelings and symptoms that are normal in everyone become amplified to the extent that they affect one's daily life.
The condition commonly starts during the teen years and, for some, may persist for many years or even a lifetime. It can be a major source of stress. Although the cause is not completely understood, there seems to be both a genetic predisposition as well as an environmental component. Social phobia sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for certain why some people experience it and others don't.
Social anxiety disorder can be treated with counseling and/or medications. Some of the medicines that are used to treat problems such as depression also are helpful for social phobia, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines and beta blockers. Your health professional can determine which course of action is best for you."
Mitchell, T. (2009, November 15). Do you have social phobia? USA Weekend Magazine Weekend Magazine