To feel anxious in the company of other people is a very painful and frustrating experience. To be healthy from a psychological point of view good connection with others is a necessity. If you have high social anxiety levels around others it is very hard to connect well to people, even those you like. It is so easy to become isolated and to start to avoid activities that you would like to do. Life can become very restricted when you have to avoid any activity that involves other people.
Social anxiety then can have a detrimental impact on all areas of your life. It’s hard to succeed in the work place when you’re dealing with so much anxiety. It’s hard to have a healthy social life too when you find being around people so uncomfortable. Unfortunately its also very challenging to have a fulfilling romantic and sex life in this situation.
Many people share that the word “anxiety” doesn’t capture the experience. It feels more like terror. Just to be with another person generates a huge amount of fear. This is often a result of having not felt safe in the past combined with our own current talk. We may be thinking things like “nobody likes me”, “they all think I’m weird” or “I’m not welcome here” It is no wonder it’s hard to socialise comfortably with such painful and debilitating thoughts.
If this sounds like something you are experiencing counselling can help. Counselling can help you to be less afraid of people, to participate in social events more fully and to improve your functioning at work, with friends and in romance. We can work to reduce the anxiety by increasing your tolerance of the feelings, changing your thoughts to more positive and realistic ones and healing the wounds to your self image which have caused this in the first place.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or to book an initial appointment.