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What are social phobia symptoms?

My friend don't like to spend a lot of time in places where are a lot of people. She is having a problem with public appearance. I would like to help her to get beyond this. Could she have some type of social phobia?
Category: Symptoms 11 years ago
Asked 11 years ago

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Social phobia, like other anxiety disorders, does not present itself so much as a unique set of symptoms that tell you whether or not you have a condition that falls neatly under one of the categories outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The anxiety response is very much part of what makes us able to operate in the world. The difference between a "normal" reaction to a difficult situation and an anxiety disorder is the impact it has upon your life. If the symptoms you experience are severe enough to cause distress to you, or to people who matter to you, and they prevent you from being able to function, then, by definition, you have problematic symptoms. In my experience, diagnoses and labels are not particularly useful. They do help less experienced newly-qualified practitioners formulate treatment plans (not, in itself, a bad thing :D) but any treatment plan would be far more effective if it was based on evidence suggesting that it helped managed the presenting symptoms. Diagnoses, like other labels, can become self-fulfilling prophesies, trapping people into a monolithic orthodoxy that assumes that all Xs should be treated the same way. We are people, not machines and any treatment or coping strategy should be developed and honed according to our individual circumstances. Look to the symptoms, their severity, and the problems they are causing, rather than the fancy name someone calls it. Spend some time looking at what drives those symptoms and develop a plan to manage them. Best of luck
Kevin Patton
Answered 11 years ago
Kevin Patton

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