According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) social anxiety is more than just shyness. It is driven by an irrational fear of being humiliated, embarrassed, or offending someone. This fear may make a person suffering from social anxiety avoid contributing to conversations, offering ideas in group settings like school or work, or meeting new people. These fears can be isolating, causing many people who are struggling with social anxiety to avoid certain people, places, or situations to alleviate the panic and anxiety they experience in these settings.
The effects of untreated social anxiety include:
- Challenges finishing school
- Inability to keep a job
- Financial difficulties
- Trouble maintaining romantic relationships
- Lost connections with close friends and family
- Development of other mental health conditions