Social anxiety is a tough one. It can feel embarrassing to suffer from it, and the anxiety itself just makes that shameful fear worse.
As a man, you may feel you are expected to be confident and bold, ready to adapt to every situation, outgoing and assertive – but this is just one very limiting view of what masculinity can and should be. Since way back when, men have had to suffer in silence as their feelings ran against the expectations they felt that society had of them; yet today we are fortunate to not need face-to-face contact when seeking a solution to social anxiety. There are plenty of online options to help you take those first steps.
But before that, let’s step back a bit…
What Is Social Anxiety?
According to the NHS, social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations. This is one one of the most common anxiety disorders and is a lot more than just shyness. This type of phobia can trigger intense fear over simple everyday activities, such as picking up the phone when you see an unknown caller ID flashing on your screen or ordering food at a fast food.
How do you know if you’re suffering from social anxiety? Well, if a great opportunity like a blind date or public presentation fill you with dread rather than excitement, it’s a good starting sign that you could do with some help. If you feel too self-conscious to dance in clubs or the sound of the phone ringing puts you on edge, those can also be symptoms. So you see it doesn’t have to be anything too dramatic – but if such feelings are stopping you from leading a happy, uninhibited lifestyle, you could be part of the 70% of millennials who report social anxiety.
What Can You Do About It?
The good news is, a handful of the best online resources to help you begin your journey to self-confidence have been gathered in the infographic below, so you needn’t suffer alone any longer. From treatment programs to support groups, these websites are a great place to start – but don’t forget to check in with your physician for a serious one-to-one assessment as soon as you’re ready.
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