Facing The Spotlight With Blinding Fear - TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Results Of Their Social Anxiety Research

TestYourself looks through the eyes of individuals with social anxiety, providing a view of what it's like to fear our social world.

MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- September 21, 2011

TestYourself.psychtests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments, reveals results of their Social Anxiety Test, showing how scary the world looks from the point of view of social anxiety sufferers. Their results indicate that even the simple act of making eye contact with others can be torture for someone with this problem.

Social anxiety can present itself in many forms and to various degrees. Some people have issues with public speaking or stage fright; others are shy in certain situations or experience performance anxiety when the stakes are high. However, according to the DSM IV, for 10 to 20% of the population, social anxiety has much more serious impact on every-day functioning.

Social anxiety can be a debilitating fear for anyone from the quiet office worker to big-name celebrities. Kim Basinger, for example, admitted to spending months on end locked away in her home. Stage actor Sir Laurence Olivier hid behind make-up and delved deep into his characters to distance himself from his anxiety. Even the seemingly unflappable Barbra Streisand became so stricken with stage fright that she forgot the words to one of her songs.

"Social anxiety is more than just not wanting to do an oral presentation in class, or speak up in a meeting at work," explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "These are people who can't have a one-on-one conversation with someone new without breaking into a sweat, tensing up, or having a full-blown panic attack. Social anxiety in the extreme, or a social phobia, is often what causes a person to withdraw from others completely and refuse to leave their home. The social world we live in can be a very terrifying place for someone with this problem."

Isolating only the sample with the highest anxiety scores, TestYourself's gender comparisons reveal that while women with anxiety were more likely to be fearful of embarrassment (score of 82 for women, 78 for men, on a scale from 0 to 100) and to react with panic (score of 63 for women, 52 for men), men more readily admitted that their anxiety was excessive (score of 88 for women, 93 for men). TestYourself's analysis also reveals that:

  • 51% have consulted a professional about feeling uneasy in public.
  • 59% have difficulty making eye contact with people they don't know.
  • 62% said they become "paralyzed" and "speechless" when someone they don't know starts a conversation with them.
  • 81% admit that their fear of group activities causes problems in their relationships..
  • 83% will go to great lengths to avoid social gatherings.
  • 84% become tense even at casual get-togethers.
  • 85% say that if they were attending a party that was a month away, they would already be worrying about the prospect of having to mingle with others.
  • 89% tend to withdraw from people.

"If someone is experiencing severe social anxiety to the point where they cannot function properly, consulting a professional is highly recommended," suggests Dr. Jerabek. "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be very effective for social anxiety. People also need to keep in mind that this isn't a fear to be ashamed of, because everyone experiences it to some degree. Many of us fear embarrassment when speaking up in front of others. But these are fears that can be dealt with, and we want to encourage people to do so."

Those who wish to take the Social Anxiety Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3053

About TestYourself.psychtests.com
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

Contact:
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.
http://testyourself.psychtests.com/