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Private Social Phobia Clinic

When the fear of being judged by others weighs on life

Social phobia is an anxiety disorder. It was recognized as a disorder by the WHO (World Health Organization) in the early 1980s and is still defined as “fear of scrutinizing consideration by others leading to avoidance of social situations.” This explicitly already refers to the fear of small groups of people rather than crowds. Additionally, it goes on to describe that severe social phobia is usually associated with a substantial lack of self-esteem and a pronounced fear of judgment or criticism. It is one of the most common mental illnesses (about 15% of the population is said to struggle with this anxiety disorder – and the trend is rising), with more women affected than men. There are different approaches and models concerning the causes of social phobia development. Often the disease already develops in adolescence, as the expression is favored by genetic predisposition. The advantage: social phobias can be treated very well

If social phobics are forced to cope with situations they find frightening and fail out of fear, their fear of the following situation intensifies even more. Each negative experience exacerbates their problem: a vicious cycle is created. As a result, people with this anxiety disorder often avoid contact with others to an increasingly pronounced degree and end up in social isolation. A concomitant disease of social phobia can also be the escape into addictive substances, as these can alleviate or mask the symptoms. In addition, if left untreated and in prolonged isolation, those affected often suffer

The disordered pattern and symptoms of social phobia:

The classic disorder characteristics of social phobia include the following:

  • Fear of being scrutinized by other people in manageable
    groups
  • This fear is limited to specific social situations or is particularly pronounced in those situations
  • The fear-inducing situations are avoided
  • The phobia usually develops already in childhood/adolescence

The following symptoms mainly manifest the phobia:
Physical symptoms:

  • Sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat
  • Flushing, avoidance of eye contact
  • Diarrhea, nausea, excessive urination
  • Panic attacks

In addition, affected individuals suffer from low self-esteem and have a great fear of rejection and criticism. This results in avoidance behavior of the anxiety-provoking situations

The fear can either be limited to specific situations (speaking in front of people, etc.) but can also affect almost all social situations outside the family

The treatment of social phobia in the LIMES Castle Private Clinic:

The treatment of social phobia, individually adapted, corresponds to the treatment of anxiety disorders in general

Psychotherapy, as well as individual and group therapeutic methods, are combined with complementary treatment methods such as art, sports, movement, and body therapy, occupational therapy as well as yoga, and various relaxation methods, among others
The goal is to strengthen social skills and conscious contact with other people and to break through negative behavior patterns and thought structures that are causative of social phobia.

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