Social Anxiety: Not “Just Being Shy”

It’s normal to be shy around strangers. It’s not uncommon to be nervous about public speaking and social gatherings. But when it reaches the point it has a significant impact on your life, that could be an indicator of something more serious. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, social anxiety (or social phobia) is defined as “intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.” Social phobia is ranked as the second most diagnosed anxiety disorder. 12% of the United States population meets the criteria for diagnosis. It usually starts during the teen years and is more likely to affect women than men.

Social Anxiety: Not "Just Being Shy"


There are two categories of social anxiety disorder: generalized and non-generalized.


In the generalized category, symptoms are present in most social situations. This includes social interactions and performance situations. The symptoms are more severe than in non-generalized social anxiety disorder.

Non-generalized (Specific)

Symptoms in this category are present in specific social situations. They may fear one specific situation or several settings, but do not fear most situations.

Some symptoms include:

  • Little eye contact
  • Speaking with a soft voice
  • Avoiding social or performance situations
  • Difficulty being assertive
  • Experiencing test anxiety or refusing to take part in the classroom

Along with these behaviors, there are physical symptoms:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Nausea
  • Rigid Posture
  • Panic Attacks

The development of other anxiety or mood disorders can occur, as well as substance abuse. Suicidal thoughts can also occur in severe cases.


Some forms of treatment include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support Groups
  • Medications

The most successful treatment is a combination of medication and CBT or other psychotherapies.

At Pandora’s House, we provide high-quality, compassionate care with individualized treatment plans. Located in Farmersville, Texas, we provide care to the Collin County, Texas community. To start your journey towards recovery, please contact us to schedule an appointment.