BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Social phobia

BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Social phobia - The silly season is a social phobic's nightmare. Cocktail parties fill them with anxiety because they hate small talk more than anything else. Some call it shyness, but sufferers say it's more serious. It's not just new people that fill them with dread, it's any social situation, including meetings. Even answering the telephone is unbearable. Yet sufferers often overcompensate and end up as the life of the party. Rock stars and actors are classic social phobics (singing doesn't involve talking, and the lines are memorised). Treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy, but some don't want to be treated. This way, no-one asks them to entertain clients or make presentations.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor - helen@kirwantaylor.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The silly season is a social phobic's nightmare. Cocktail parties fill them with anxiety because they hate small talk more than anything else. Some call it shyness, but sufferers say it's more serious. It's not just new people that fill them with dread, it's any social situation, including meetings. Even answering the telephone is unbearable. Yet sufferers often overcompensate and end up as the life of the party. Rock stars and actors are classic social phobics (singing doesn't involve talking, and the lines are memorised). Treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy, but some don't want to be treated. This way, no-one asks them to entertain clients or make presentations.

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