Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Social Phobia


Hi Dr. Schwartz, My question is, should I go and get some help? I have been feeling the way I do for such a long time, and recently I figured out, from reading into it, that I have Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia). I tend to blush a lot, and I don’t know why I am. I get all red in the face and sweat when waiting in lines, or I tend to feel like people are watching me wherever I go. I hate this feeling. Is there anything you could suggest I do? I really need to get rid of these feelings, because it’s not who I am. Muchly appreciated. Bor.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

The answer to your question is yes, you should get some help. The type of help that you need is cognitive-behavioral therapy. The reason is that for most phobias, talking therapy is not enough. You need the type of therapy that will do two things: 1. help you look at the thoughts that increase your feelings of anxiety and 2. help you begin to take some social risks in ways that will produce minimum anxiety and gradually allow you to become desensitized to social situations. There are therapists who are trained in cognitive behavioral techniques and there are clinics that provide that type of therapy for those experiencing extreme anxiety. Sometimes medication is used to reduce anxiety but this is the kind of thing that even with medication still requires the slow and gradual learning of new experiences with reduced anxiety.

There are also many excellent books available on the self help shelves of most book stores that teach people how to reduce their shyness and anxiety. I have no particular book in mind and most of them are good. The topics mostly have to do with shyness or phobia or anxiety or social phobia.

You may never stop blushing completely but you will learn that there is nothing to be embarrassed about just because you blush. Some people blush naturally and cannot help it. When I say that they blush naturally I mean that they blush easily even if they are not embarrassed.

Bottom line: there is nothing to be ashamed about just because you feel social anxiety. The idea is to NOT AVOID social situations but to go into them anyway. The more you socialize the more comfortable you will come to feel. Also, one technique that is used to have a socially anxious person simply tell the person they are speaking that they are feeling nervous. Get it out in the open and do not hide it. Socializing is a skill and either the books or therapy or both will help you learn to socialize with less discomfort whether you blush or not. Wear your blush with pride!!!

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand