The Link Between Depression & Other Mental Illness (cont.)

Also known as social anxiety, this disorder is associated with excessive self-consciousness in social situations. These situations can range from public speaking, to signing one's name in front of people, to eating in a restaurant. Whatever the case may be, for those people who suffer from social phobia, these situations create an intense and constant feeling of being watched, judged and negatively evaluated. This intense fear of public humiliation often forces those affected by social phobia to go out of their way to avoid these types of situations, which can have a negative affect on their personal and professional lives.

Social phobia is a common disorder, affecting over 5 million people in a given year. It often begins in childhood and rarely develops after age 25. People with social phobia are often aware that their fears are irrational but are unable to lessen or erase these fears.

The symptoms of social phobia are much the same as they are for other anxiety disorders, and include trembling or shaking, intense sweating, nausea, difficulty talking, dry mouth and a racing heart. Like other anxiety illnesses these symptoms range from being mild and tolerable to so severe that they become socially debilitating.

Social anxiety is often treated with a combination of medication and talk therapy.

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