- Dr. Sapna Sharma
- 30 July 2018
all looked perfectly comfortable in their skin as they sat as a group in their
familiar surroundings. It was a group alright but a group of the elitist and
the highbrow. I was invited to conduct a session at one of their meetings. I
was welcomed well but the affair seemed to be more about their fellowship
rather than a learning sessions. I get that sometimes.
start with the comforting statement that I do not expect them to answer any of
my questions and then I add, “But please give an honest reply to every question
I pass around a simple exercise that has some 20 statements and they have to be
marked according to their relevance in your life. Among other statements, a
particular one says, “When you enter a place of social gathering alone do you –
Immediately go and mingle/ wait in a corner to see if you can find anyone
familiar/ curse yourself for coming alone/ Feel almost mortified with
embarrassment till u see someone familiar.
a group they would have been arrogant about the answer- ‘of course we hold lot
of meetings and social gatherings’, but privately most of them select either
the 3rd or the 4th statement!
is the tip of the iceberg called as Social anxiety. The symptoms may range from
here to not able to move outside the familiar environment of one’s home. It can
be almost paralyzing can severely affect life and profession of a person.
should we have so many cases of social anxiety today with everyone is more
externalized and outgoing? The answer seems to be hidden in this very question.
Other than some chemical problems, social anxiety is traced to stream from
various life experiences such as childhood bullying, extreme stress of
performance, bad social experiences, non-inclusion by groups, etc. Another
reason is associated with the rise of electronic social media. People seem to
be inclined towards portraying themselves as the ‘ideal’ prototype of their age
and gender. Such portrayal can lessen their confidence to face the real
situations with a real them.
due to extreme externalization and materialization hardly if any attention is
given to the self esteem of any individual. As the child grows up he sees
himself always on a competitive chart with someone on some parameter or the other.
The competition has made youngsters cruel and non inclusive and groups often
‘accept’ those who would follow the leader. This dents the self esteem of those
who neither follow, nor command, neither stand out nor blend. And they are
further forced towards proving themselves on some competition or other. Such
factors often develop social anxiety coming from a fear of rejection and
cases of Social Anxiety particularly online therapy and online counseling is
very effective. Especially in the initial stages when the person is not willing
to see a counselor in her office due to his anxiety.
people with chronic social anxiety develop depression and need to be treated
for the same. Depression therapy is now very well established and a
combination of methods can be used. Many a times starting with treatment of
depression can encourage the person to move further with anxiety therapy too.