Social Anxiety

Social anxiety disorder, sometimes referred to as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder that causes fear or anxious feelings in social settings. We all know the feeling of being awkward or nervous entering a social situation. Maybe you’ve felt your hands get sweaty and your heart starting to race when meeting someone new or speaking up in a class. However, with social anxiety disorder, the stress of these situations becomes too much to handle. Individuals can fear being laughed at, humiliated, criticised, or judged in front of other people, in day-to-day activities. If you experience or have experienced these feelings, don’t be alarmed! Around 11% of Australians experience social anxiety during their lifeline.

Social anxiety disorder is a persistent fear of one or more social situations where embarrassment may occur, and the fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation as determined by the person’s cultural norms (World Health Organization, 1992).



For someone experiencing social anxiety, social interaction can lead to physical reactions. These include:

  • Blushing
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • A rigid body stance
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling as if their mind goes blank
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Rapid heart rate

These reactions can happen during any social interaction. For example, speaking in public, initiating a conversation, or meeting someone new. Anyone with social anxiety experience it in different ways. However, the most common situations that individuals can have trouble with include:

  • Attending parties
  • Shopping
  • Eating in public
  • Job Interviews
  • Conversing with strangers
  • Public Speaking
  • Making conversation
  • Using public restrooms
  • Making direct eye contact



Unfortunately, social anxiety can develop a variety of psychological symptoms that can affect you in your everyday life:

  • Intense stress and worry before, during, and after a social situation
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Increased use of alcohol use for a social situation
  • Missing school or work because of anxiety
  • Attempting to blend into the background if you must attend
  • Lack of self-worth and confidence
  • Constant fear of doing something embarrassing
  • Concerns that others will notice you’re stressed or nervous



CBT Professionals’ is here to help you! Our dedicated psychologists are highly trained and passionate about tailoring a unique treatment plan to treat your social anxiety. We understand that every person is different, and structure our treatment plans to fit your individual needs.

With three convenient practice locations to choose from, contact us now via telephone or online enquiry via to book an appointment and take that first step to enjoying being in a social setting!

Coomera – (07) 5551 0251

Nerang – (07) 5668 3490

Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366

If you require urgent help, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue. If you are in crisis and require urgent support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.

Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns. CBT Professionals is not an emergency service – please call 000 in an emergency.


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