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Misconceptions of Social Anxiety Disorder

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Myth: Social anxiety isn’t that common

Fact: Experiences by most people at some point of lives

Myth: Social anxiety just refers to public speaking fears

Fact: Refers to anxiety/fear in variety of events (ex. Informal speaking/interaction, going to parties, meeting strangers)

Myth: Social anxiety is just nervousness

Fact: nervousness is just ONE of various symptoms that you can experience (such as behavioral problems, emotional problems, physical problems such as shaking hands)

Myth: Being shy is the same thing as being socially anxious

Fact: Similar but not the same; people can be very extroverted and still be envious on the inside, but shy people tend to avoid social contact, which can be because of feelings of social anxiety but not always

Myth: You just have to learn to live with social anxiety

Fact: Some people experience terrible social anxiety where they can’t even leave the house, effective treatment can help a lot

Myth: “You don’t have social anxiety. You’re just shy.”

Fact: shyness is a personality trait, social anxiety is a legitimate mental disorder

Myth: “If you tried hard enough, you’d get over it.”

Fact: Treatment and help is needed to get better, it’s just like a physical condition, you can’t get over diabetes without doing anything

Myth: “Don’t go out if you have social anxiety; you’re making it worse.”

Fact: Avoidance will not help you get better, this isn’t an addiction; baby steps can help you improve

Myth: “It doesn’t hurt. It’s not serious, like clinical depression.”

Fact: Depression and anxiety are both mental disorders; anxiety is also mentally taxing and leaves you feeling lonely and exhausted. They’re both equally serious

Myth: “Social anxiety only happens to introverted, quiet people.”

Fact: Extroverted people can also have social anxiety, it just might not be as obvious

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