More Information About Social Anxiety

Differences Between Social Anxiety and Panic Disorder

The distinction between social anxiety and panic disorder is probably the most misunderstood subject concerning the anxiety disorders. People with panic believe very strongly that the "panic attack" they experienced means that something is physically wrong with them, whereas people with social anxiety disorder do not believe that their anxiety is related to a medical or physical illness or disease, and recognize it as being anxiety.

These basic distinctions are imporant to make, but it is also necessary to realize some people fall in the middle of this diagnostic classification system.  A person can have both panic disorder AND social anxiety disorder, but is likely that one is more dominant than the other.  Both conditions can be changed.

Blushing: A Symptom of Social Anxiety

Blushing is an instantaneous physiological response to a situation we find potentially embarrassing, and it is a big problem for many people who have social anxiety disorder.
Not everyone who blushes has social anxiety, and not every person with social anxiety blushes...

Social Anxiety and Asperger's Syndrome Differences

Social anxiety disorder is markedly different than Asperger's Disorder in that Asperger's is a pervasive developmental disorder (also called a milder version of autism) and that people with social anxiety disorder do not display the patterns of behavior expected in definitions A and B...

Social Anxiety and Dysmorphias: Strong Irrational Beliefs

When someone's beliefs about themselves (usually a physical component of their body) is very irrational and extremely skewed, we say they have a dysmorphia.  These "dysmorphias" are typical symptoms of social anxiety that people believe more irrationally and strongly than others...

Social Anxiety and Misdiagnosis

One of the biggest barriers to overcoming social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is to know what problem you have -- and then be able to define it.  Because social anxiety disorder is a relatively new diagnosis, many professionals in the field are not aware or have incorrect perceptions of this problem. For example, many professionals confuse panic disorder with social anxiety disorder...

Social Anxiety, Chemical Imbalances in the Brain, and Brain Neural Pathways and Associations

Most people misunderstand the meaning of "chemical imbalances" in the brain.  This phrase has become the buzzword to use today to explain mental health problems, including social anxiety.  We can say that no one is "born" with social anxiety.  You may remember circumstances and events from very early in life, but there is no "gene" that codes for social anxiety, and there is not an immutable set of genes that cause social anxiety to occur...

The Problem with Using the Terminology "Panic" for Social Anxiety Disorder

People in general, as well as clinicians and university researchers, are  typically confused when using the term "panic" or the phrase "panic attack".  A researcher may be describing one set of behaviors defined as "panic", whereas another writer may be meaning something entirely different in a discussion of "panic".  If we do not clearly define terms, then patients with this problem are not going to be understood by professionals, and stand a greater risk of being misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly. 

Why We Prefer "Social Anxiety" to "Social Phobia"

For over fifteen years we have been campaigning for the cessation of the terminology "social phobia" as we believe "social anxiety disorder" fits this disorder much better.  Here we outline our reasons why.  

Being Myself: Self-Statements For Social Anxiety

When overcoming anxiety, it is important to stay in the right frame of mind.  The self-statements found here act as tools to help maintain a healthy, rational point of view.  

My Garden: An Anxiety Parable

This powerful parable tells a story about the hidden strengths that each of us hold inside. Even if those strengths have remained dormant for years, everyone possesses them.  

Statements For Being Rational

For people with social anxiety, it is especially important to maintain a rational point of view.  Here are some statements that should be incorporated into your daily life.