Social Anxiety Agoraphobia
Social anxiety agoraphobia is a term some people use to refer to a level of social phobia that is so intense and pervasive that the person suffering from it becomes afraid to leave their house.
You may worry that:
- If you go outside your house a neighbour may try to start a conversation with you and you won't know what to say
- People will look at your face or clothing or body and judge you negatively
- You will be noticed coming out of your house or sitting on your front porch and anyone passing by will think you are strange
- You might start to blush or sweat if you see someone you know
- You feel that by leaving your house you will no longer have control of who sees you and who you have to talk to.
When faced with concerns and negative thoughts and feelings about yourself and your own ability to interact with others, it can be tempting to isolate yourself. It can seem so much more comfortable to just decline social invitations, keep to yourself, and stay inside than to feel stressed or fearful.
As with all situations involving fear however, avoidance eventually reinforces your negative thoughts and makes your fears more intense and more powerful.
Social anxiety agoraphobia is especially isolating and very tormenting as your true desire is to be able to successfully connect with people and develop lasting relationships.
Getting Help For Social Anxiety Agoraphobia
If your level of
is so high that you are reluctant to or afraid to leave the house I urge you to begin to get some help for yourself!
Even though you might feel that you are doomed to suffer forever from social anxiety agoraphobia - it is not true. You can recover and lead an normal happy life, and there are many possible routes to this goal.
Steps To Recovery
The first step is to learn how to change the negative destructive thought patterns that keep you housebound, and replace those with more positive realistic kinder thoughts.
Part of what keeps you isolated is fearful and negative self-talk that whirls around in your mind filling you with self doubt, and low self esteem.
It is amazing how we beat ourselves up with critical thoughts and catastrophic thinking. Letting go of these thoughts opens up the possibility of a new life.
The next step is to learn how to manage feelings of anxiety more effectively and to learn ways to calm relax and center yourself.
The last step is to learn new behaviors and develop new social habits. If you have suffered from social phobia for awhile you can benefit from learning new skills to help you interact with others more easily and effectively.
Learning how to start conversations, reduce feelings of anxiousness, make small talk, smile and make eye contact are just a few of the skills you will learn that are helpful.
Social skills are learned behaviors - and you can learn them too and become the socially competent person you have always wished you were. One who meets, speaks, and interacts with others with ease.
By changing the way you behave towards others you will also change the way they perceive you. By using your newly learned effective social skills you will come across as more friendly, interesting and confident. This in turn will change the way people respond to you.
You will create a positive spiral of increasingly satisfying interaction with others.
Success Factor - Practise and Don't Give Up!
It is so important throughout this process that you continue to practise over and over again. I cannot emphasize this enough. It takes time and practise to unlearn old habits and entrench new healthy helpful habits.
You will be so glad you stuck with it and have opened the door to a new life of happy and comfortable connection with others.
Go to Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder
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