What is Social Phobia
The overwhelming fear of public humiliation is called Social Phobia. This condition is different from the natural fear everyone has of being embarrassed in public because it can literally prevent a person from doing the things that are required of them at work, socially, or even in day to day living. Something as simple as eating with another person watching can be an impossible task for a person suffering from this phobia. Their utter terror of being embarrassed or humiliated in public makes it impossible for them to put themselves at the risk of such a thing happening. This can cost them a job, loose them friends as they socialize less and less, and lead to increasing isolation in the sufferer of the condition.
Once again, the fear of public humiliation is completely normal.
The phobia is when this fear consumes the person to the point of negatively impacting their ability to live.
Social Phobia tends to begin in youth which is no surprise as it is well known that the desire to fit in is so strong in young people. They begin to fear the doing anything that might lead them to being mocked, picked on, and otherwise embarrassed or humiliated. The symptoms for social phobia vary from person to person but a good yardstick for knowing when fear has crossed the bridge to phobia is the duration of the symptoms. If the symptoms have lasted for six months or more than medically speaking it is considered a phobia and requires treatment for the person to be able to overcome this potentially crippling situation.
With treatment it is entirely possible for a person to learn to function socially once again. Without treatment social phobia can last from years to an entire lifetime. It isn't something that just goes away on its own. It needs to be worked on and worked through with the support of qualified professionals, friends, loved ones, and even coworkers and employers for the person to begin facing the thing that terrifies them so much. Without treatment the person could close themselves off from so many experiences that people without the condition take for granted every day. It can be an isolating and frightening thing to suffer.
Treatment is possible to gain control of these fears instead of being controlled by them if symptoms are recognized and qualified help obtained.