Q How can I tell if my shy­ness has turned to anx­i­ety?

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR BODY -

It’s nor­mal to feel like a scared bunny rab­bit in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. ‘A first date, an in­ter­view, a pub­lic-speak­ing event can elicit some anx­i­ety for many or even most of us,’ says clin­i­cal in­struc­tor of psy­chol­ogy Dr Anna Ed­wards. But if you reg­u­larly freeze up around oth­ers in ev­ery­day in­ter­ac­tions, or spend hours mulling over the day’s con­ver­sa­tions and crit­i­cis­ing your­self, you may have so­cial anx­i­ety dis­or­der, also known as so­cial pho­bia. Do you, say, worry so much about oth­ers judg­ing you that you turn down a cof­fee date with a co-worker you like, or have to talk your­self into go­ing gro­cery shop­ping be­cause it re­quires chitchat? If so, check with your doc­tor. She’ll prob­a­bly re­fer you to a cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­a­pist who can help you learn to bet­ter man­age the sit­u­a­tions that cause you the most dis­com­fort.

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