Social Anxiety

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is one of the most common anxiety disorders. If you’re suffering from social anxiety, you’re likely to experience an overwhelming fear of social situations. This may lead you to feel extremely anxious in the lead up to a social event, overthink “embarrassing” things you said or did following it – or in extreme cases, it may lead you to avoid socialising altogether. Worries tend to be around doing something that is humiliating, sweating, blushing or feeling inadequate in some way.

Symptoms of social anxiety

  • Dreading everyday activities such as meetings, talking in groups, speaking on the phone etc
  • Low self-esteem
  • Fear of being criticised
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Misuse of drugs or alcohol to manage social anxiety

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Treatment for social anxiety

Therapy can help you understand both the origins of your anxiety and also how to overcome it. In some instances, people can also benefit from medication to help them manage their symptoms.


Following your initial assessment, we will advise whether we believe it would be helpful to meet with our Consultant Psychiatrist to consider if medication would be of help.

Frequently asked questions

You should seek help for social anxiety if you are finding that it is interfering in the way you live your life. You might be struggling in social situations – being very quiet and finding it difficult to engage in conversations, for example. Or you may find yourself drinking heavily to overcome your nerves or perhaps even avoiding social situations altogether for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. These are all good reasons to seek support.
As an anxiety disorder, the most effective treatment for social anxiety is therapy. Medication can moderate your levels of anxiety in the short-term, but in the longer term, a course of psychological therapy will help you get to the bottom of your difficulties and develop coping strategies so that you don’t require medication.

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Athena Lazaridou

Athena is a Pilates instructor with 8 years’ experience in the field. After completing a Power Pilates Mat Certification in Athens, she went on to complete the Full Comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification with Equinox in Kensington.  She has been teaching Pilates at Equinox for the past 6 years in addition to her own private clients who she trains both face to face and virtually.

Athena has a passion for helping people get stronger and fitter as well as helping those recovering from injury regain their strength and mobility.  Over the years, she has worked with athletes to incorporate Pilates into their training and improve performance. Athena has also worked with prenatal and postnatal women who may be experiencing depression or other mental health difficulties and used Pilates to facilitate a positive impact on their mental health.

Athena is very passionate about improving physical and mental well-being and has recently incorporated Sound Healing into her work, as she believes it to be one of the best ways of ‘letting go’ and releasing stale energy whilst increasing greater self-awareness.