Social Anxiety: Hiding In Plain Sight

For those with social anxiety disorder, other people represent an enemy. People are adversaries just waiting for that one situation to criticize, belittle, judge, or publicly humiliate them.

People are unsafe.

The range of social phobia runs the gamut—from those who feel safe only with trusted family members, to those who experience anxiety around people only in specific situations, such as eating in front of others or speaking in public.

Social anxiety seems to affect men and women equally. It appears to begin in childhood and continue into adult years. Social anxiety disorder, like panic attacks, can lead to agoraphobia, as the person creates a bunker mentality with home and family and is reluctant to venture out into a hostile world full of precarious situations ready to turn out badly and full of people ready to take advantage.