Many people with social anxiety also have other mental health issues, such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder or panic disorder.
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You may have social anxiety if you:
- worry about everyday activities, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, working or shopping
- avoid or worry a lot about social activities, such as group conversations, eating with company and parties
- always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushing, sweating or appearing incompetent
- find it difficult to do things when others are watching – you may feel like you're being watched and judged all the time
-fear being criticised, avoid eye contact or have low self-esteem
often have symptoms like feeling sick, sweating, trembling or a pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
- have panic attacks, where you have an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety, usually only for a few minutes
Most people feel lonely sometimes, for many different reasons. If loneliness is affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help.
Support is also available if you're finding it hard to cope with stress, anxiety or depression.
Loneliness can affect anyone at any time. During the COVID-19 outbreak, spending less time with family and friends has led to more feelings of loneliness than usual for lots of us– particularly for those who have been isolating or shielding.
Adapting to changes can come with its challenges too, and it might still feel difficult to connect with family and friends, colleagues or other everyday contacts.
It's natural to go through periods of loneliness, and you should not blame yourself for feeling like you are struggling, now or at any other time. It's really important to remember that loneliness and difficult feelings can pass.
If you're feeling lonely at the moment, the following tips can help. Different things work for different people, so try to find what suits you, and seek further support if you feel you need it.