1. What are the signs of social anxiety?
2. How is it different from shyness?
3. What are some causes?
4. Is it more common now than before?
5. What are some strategies family members can adopt to help patients cope and overcome their anxiety?
An nineteen year old girl who has always been shy started to refuse to go to school. She feels she is under the spotlight in situations where they are many people, and worries about being judged. She experiences pounding heartbeat and shortness of breath in these situations and cannot talk. Initially, she was unable to present in front of her classmates and would be quiet during group discussions. Her fears and anxiety became worse and she could not attend school assembly or go for recess. Her condition deteriorated and she started becoming anxious about going to school, and refused to do so.
Her school teachers encouraged the family to seek help with professionals. With a combination of medication form her psychiatrist and therapy from a psychologist, she improved and was able to return to school.