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August 29 2018Read more
Social anxiety isn’t easy to deal with.
We’re all familiar with anxiety—that sense of nervousness and unease that we feel when we’re uncertain—but what about people who are nervous when faced with meeting, talking to and being around others?
It’s an overwhelming fear of social situations—social anxiety symptoms include:
It’s more than just being shy, or not wanting to talk to others. It’s a debilitating, often irrational fear, and causes mental health to suffer.
However, simply being a bit shy, or not enjoying the company of others for long isn’t itself a mental illness—you may just be introverted.
But if the above symptoms seem familiar, then you may be suffering from social anxiety disorder. And that is absolutely a mental illness, which can be diagnosed by your doctor.
The Equality Act 2010 states that:
“A person (P) has a disability if—
(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
Social anxiety disorder can certainly cause adverse effects. In more serious cases, it can mean being unable to leave the house at all—and even milder cases can greatly affect someone’s ability to live and work comfortably.
Yes, there are three rough categories of signs of social anxiety:
Within these categories, people feel the effects in different ways—some might just occasionally feel embarrassed to walk into a new place alone, whereas others are literally paralysed with fear.
As with many mood disorders, there’re different levels to it. But still, all levels of the disorder are important.
Yes, this is very likely to occur when it’s left unchecked.
Through severe isolation and stress, a social anxiety disorder can cause depression, certainly. Research shows a very strong relationship between social anxiety and developing depression later in life—but not in everyone.
If you suspect an employee is suffering from social anxiety, there are some sensitive ways to address this.
Remember, everyone is different, and the spectrum of social anxiety causes is vast, including:
Bearing this in mind, it’s a good idea to take a wide approach when considering how to help someone with social anxiety, rather than trying to drill down to their specific triggers.
Social anxiety disorder at work can be hard to deal with, but Health Assured can help.
Talk to our wellbeing experts any time 24/7, 365 to find out how to better work with those suffering mood disorders. Call us now on 0844 892 2493.
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