Reducing Social Anxiety with Online Education

Social anxiety is a very common disorder—there are more than 200,000 reported cases in America each year. That is an astoundingly high number, but what is even more astounding is that it is estimated that most cases of social anxiety go unreported, so the number of people who suffer from social anxiety disorder could be much higher. It is a serious condition that affects many aspects of a person’s life. Interpersonal communication is often inescapable, and when the thought of speaking to others causes anxiety, it can have a devastating impact on the people who suffer from it.

What Is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is a condition that is characterized by an intense, often irrational fear of interacting with other people. For people who suffer from social anxiety disorder, everyday social encounters can cause anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and self-consciousness. Even when they are not around people, people who suffer from social anxiety will often dwell on past social situations that made them feel uncomfortable or times when they think other people were thinking poorly of them. They often worry about being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated, and they are often concerned about offending someone.

The issues that people who suffer from social anxiety face are real, lasting, and constant. It can be a debilitating disorder that restricts the number of activities people are willing or able to do. It is treatable with the help of a mental health professional. Talk therapy and medications have both been shown to effectively treat social anxiety.

School Can Trigger Social Anxiety

In-person schools (including public, private, and charter schools) are very social settings. Students are constantly surrounded by other people and are often times encouraged and sometimes even forced to interact with their peers. For people who suffer from social anxiety, it can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. In some students, the social anxiety that schools can cause can negatively impact their mental health and performance in school.

Online Education Reduces Social Anxiety

While social anxiety is treatable, it often cannot be cured. It is a chronic condition that can last for years or even be a lifelong disorder. So for some students, it might be necessary to be removed from a school setting. For those students, online education is the perfect alternative. Online education provides a way for students to learn the important and required information without being forced to be surrounded by other people. This will reduce their social anxiety levels and help them live a better quality of life.

Of course, it is not healthy to isolate anybody, even people who suffer from social anxiety. And online education is not isolating. Just like in in-person schools, online schooling does offer the chance for students to communicate and interact with each other. It also provides more freedom to the students to engage in other social interactions of their choice. In other words, online education gives the students complete control over the level of social interaction that they participate in, which is a huge blessing for people who suffer from social anxiety disorder.