The Definition of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a disorder which prevents one from functioning correctly while exposed to other people and society in general. This disorder usually takes place during childhood. However, during the child's first introduction to the social world around him/her, this is to be expected. Yet, shyness, confusion and fear of other people and social relationships in general develops later, or never stops.
As far as science is concerned, there are still no precise reasons behind this condition which have been proven to be directly causing social anxiety. Rather, there are doubts that this condition does not disappear in childhood during its natural period but stays with people, expressing itself later on inlife.
There are different ways of expressing social anxiety. Some people are shy and have troubles communicating with others, feeling nervous and frightened. Other, more extreme cases, involve being completely unable of exposing yourself to the rest of the society, due to unnatural fear and phobia which make one's life quite different from the rest.
Either way, proper treatment is needed for any case of social anxiety. Exposure therapy is one of the best methods for the treatment of this condition.
Exposure Therapy and Social Anxiety
These people are incapable of living successful lives. Namely, they cannot go out in the streets, visit a shop, get in and out or relationships, or perform any kind of social activity due to their fear and anxiety. So, they are in dire need of proper treatment. Nevertheless, medications should be avoided completely, since all one can gain from antidepressants and the like are the withdrawal symptoms once they develop and addiction and the side effects until they do so.
Thus, exposure therapy is the best method of treatment. Basically, this involves handling your fears bit by bit. For example, if you fear getting outside and talking to people, you need to start with barely leaving the house. Then, once you get accustomed to making these steps, you are to proceed until you realize that you can talk to other people without feeling anxious or jeopardized.
The same goes with people who have difficulties talking to the opposite sex. You need to expose yourself to your fears gradually. This means saying hello to your smiling neighbor you like. Later, it can mean talking to salespeople who are generally courteous and bound to ask you questions or act familiar. Once you manage to do all these things, you can start leading a conversation with someone of your choice, whenever you feel confident enough.