Feeling anxious when going on a date or before a job interview is common. However, living in a constant state of fear in everyday life when interacting with others, can be overwhelming for those with social anxiety disorder.
Sometimes known as social phobia, this type of anxiety is unique to each individual who suffers from it, but it has a common thread; a persistent fear or excessive worry in settings that are not threatening. And for many, this fear can be debilitating.
Social situations can feel very difficult to handle. It can cripple you when walking into a cafe to join your friends. It can grip you with panic when stepping into a room full of people. It can make small talk desperately uncomfortable and it can affect your quality of life.
Social anxiety is a common problem for many of the men and women I work with in my homeopathy practice. Recently, a young woman described how she felt when socialising with friends during a meal:
“I don’t enjoy going out for dinner with friends as I’m so nervous beforehand and my stomach is churning. Whilst there, I can hardly eat as my hands are trembling and I’m worried about eating in front of them. I avoid social situations as much as possible now. I feel so anxious, but I put on a face that everything is ok, but inside I’m shaking. I just want to get out of there.”
Another client explained the long-term effects of social anxiety and how it impacts those around her:
“I’ve very little joy left in my life because all my energy is spent on just coping with the anxiety and getting through a day. My family is suffering because of me.”
Feeling nervous before a big event like public speaking is normal for most of us. For those with social anxiety, ordinary interactions such as eating in front of others, going on dates, attending parties or using public restrooms can cause high levels of fear, panic, self-consciousness and embarrassment. Even starting a conversation, talking to strangers, making eye contact or going to work or school can be distressing. There may be a fear of saying something wrong and upsetting someone, being judged or being the focus of attention.
Homeopathy is a safe and natural form of medicine that aims to get to the root cause of a problem. In my practice, I design treatment plans based on the person’s specific needs and I prescribe remedies to help resolve what is unique to them.
Homeopathy looks to discover the core issues that have led those with social anxiety to adapt and adjust their behavior in social situations. Examples of these adaptative behaviors are things like avoiding common areas, disengaging from group conversations, or declining invitations to social events.
I examine the root cause factors that contribute to the symptoms associated with social anxiety. Common aspects we explore together can be but are not limited to:
Clients suffering from social anxiety may demonstrate a variety of both physical and mental symptoms. Symptoms can manifest in the form of:
There are many possible homeopathic remedies that could be prescribed to relieve social anxiety. Below I’d like to share three examples to explain the differences we consider when selecting a remedy based on a person’s specific needs.
Argentum Nitricum (Arg.n) is a homeopathic remedy often prescribed for someone who is anxious, uncertain and lives in a state of constant fear. Their overactive mind means they often focus on the “what ifs”. For example, what if something bad happens, what if I am late, what if I forget my lines, what if I miss the train? They suffer from extreme anticipation before big events, meetings, interviews, exams, and going to the doctor or dentist. They are claustrophobic, fear being trapped and may panic until they have planned an emergency exit route. Even though they fear heights, they have a sense they need to resist a reckless impulse to jump from a height. They are superstitious that something awful is going to happen. The anxiety can induce physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, urgent diarrhoea, trembling, pulsating headaches, and sweating. They are prone to insomnia due to worrying and may vomit in anticipation of an event they dread.
Natrum Muriaticum (Nat.m) is a homeopathic remedy considered for people who are introverted, very sensitive and afraid of being hurt or hurting others. Social situations can be extremely difficult for them as they fear rejection, ridicule and humiliation. In a group situation, they are quiet and prefer interaction on a one-to-one basis. They are private and share little about how they feel to protect their feelings of vulnerability. Even though they feel lonely and depressed, they isolate themselves preferring to be on their own. There is often a history of grief, loss or disappointment where they have been hurt or wounded and have since walled off to cope with the pain.
Ambra Griesa (Ambr) has been shown to be an effective remedy for those who are easily embarrassed. Such individuals are self-conscious about things like using public bathrooms, body odours, cleaning their noses or intimacy. They struggle to do anything in the presence of other people for fear of embarrassing themselves. Often timid, they blush easily. They find it hard to make conversation and suffer deeply when talking to others. When they do speak with others, their thoughts seem to disappear. They are uncomfortable talking about their feelings and prefer to be left alone.
The recovery journey for everyone is different in homeopathy but the ability to relieve anxiety with this natural system of medicine is excellent. As was the experience for one of my clients who shares her transformation below.
Sally* had suffered from painful anxiety and self-consciousness since childhood. She didn’t like speaking in social or work situations as she feared people might laugh or think what she said was boring or gossip worthy. To protect herself, she withdrew and tried to fade into the background.
Just eight weeks after starting her homeopathic remedy, Sally reported that she was now speaking more at work and was able to have comfortable conversations with her work colleagues. She stopped dwelling on what they may or may not be thinking of her and felt much more relaxed and at ease.
“It just happened. I’ve stopped overthinking. I’m speaking to people more freely now and I don’t care what they think”.
Managing social anxiety can be physically and emotionally draining. With the help of an individualised homeopathic treatment plan, you can feel confident interacting with others and begin enjoying life again.
As another client shares:
“I feel more confident, more decisive, more social & more comfortable in my skin. It has really changed my life.️”
Are you ready to take the first step to living a more confident life? Are you ready to be free of fear and break from the grip of anxiety? If so together we can create the road map to take you there.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality.
Consultations available: Dublin, Ireland & Worldwide Via Video Call
Eileen Scullion of Homeopathy-Healing is a Registered Homeopath LicISH ISHom with the Irish Society of Homeopaths (The Regulatory Body for the Homeopathic Profession which is recognized by the Department of Health and Children and works on the National Working Group towards an integrated Health System).