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Not feeling so Sociable?

Social Anxiety was first recognised as a mental health condition in 1980. Some professionals believe it is one of the most under-recognised and under-treated mental health problems. Statistically, only 5% to 10% of people with social anxiety in the UK currently get treatment for it.

Situations where people can often experience this type of anxiety range from answering the phone to speaking in public, such as in the classroom environment, or a business meeting, communicating with people in authority such as the teacher or the boss, eating in public (so restaurants become no-go zones), or any crowded places, like the shopping centre, or a trip to the cinema or theatre.

People with social anxiety can have a belief that everyone knows they are anxious and embarrassed, which in turn makes them feel even more anxious and embarrassed. Symptoms range from: excessive blushing, breathlessness, stammering, mental blankness, sweating, stomach churning and racing heartbeat, to a full-blown panic attack.

This condition can have an effect on simple social interactions and cause the sufferer to retreat more-and-more and avoid all social situations and contact and in some cases find ‘coping’ methods and mechanisms, such as alcohol and drugs.

It’s a cycle that, if unbroken, can lead to feelings of severe isolation and depression. When people stop themselves having positive experiences within a social setting, the more and more daunting the thought of interaction becomes and the sufferer finds themselves in a negative pattern downward spiral. If untreated and unrecognised, it can have devastating effects on self-esteem and self-confidence.

Hypnotherapy can help … to re-integrate the sufferer back into social situations in a gentle and incremental way. Lowering anxiety and working on confidence and self-esteem, in turn helping the client view social situations and indeed themselves in a more positive way.

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