By Bart Magee, Ph.D.
It’s an emotionally confusing time in the current age of the COVID-19 Pandemic. While not quite post pandemic, we’re no longer under lockdown or full restriction. Many workplaces remain remote, while more restaurants, bars, and other social gathering places are open and crowded. While many people are feeling relieved and happy to resume social engagements, others remain cautious, continuing to restrict their activities. Whether and where to don a mask remains a moving target. In this socially uncertain climate, it’s no surprise that social anxiety has been on the rise, particularly among young people. Social anxiety disorder, which affects over 15 million adults in the US, was already increasing before the pandemic and is now growing exponentially. It’s one of the more serious mental health challenges or our time. What is social anxiety and how can we address it?