Social Anxiety is the third largest mental health care problem in the world today.
- Alcoholism is first,
- depression is second, and
- social anxiety is third.
Social anxiety is an intense fear of being observed, judged or criticized by other people generally in a social situation. Social anxiety is a mental health disorder that many do not know about.
Many people think social anxiety is about shyness, which is not the case. Shyness is a normal personality trait, but social anxiety is actually a mental health problem that requires treatment.
This is a serious mental health issue because it interrupts school, work, and relationships.
Research estimates that it is the 3rd largest disorder in the world and affects about 7% of Americans.
In a brain research by the National Institute of Mental Health, the brains of those who had social anxiety showed increased activity in the amygdala, area of the brain responsible for emotional regulation (Archives of General Psychiatry, October 2008). The results suggest that people with social anxiety have an issue being judged negatively by others.