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Shyness: What is it? Do I have it? Diagnosing FAQ Find Help Test Your Knowledge Speaking with a Pro
Social Anxiety: What is it? Do I have it? Diagnosing
FAQ Find Help Test Your Knowledge Speaking with a Pro


Terms of this Glossary


Acceptance - A welcoming attitude towards someone. In Client-centered Therapy, this is one of the required attitudes for a successful therapeutic process. Rogers, who formulated this approach, would go even further, claiming that any psychotherapy approach would be successful only it the therapist abided by clear-cut set attitudes, regardless of his line of action.

Active Ingredient - Chemical element or substance that exerts some specific activity on the organism.

Adolescence - Development stage starting after puberty (also known as pre-adolescence) and ending around the age of 21. Puberty begins at about the age of 11 and some authors include it in adolescence. Others regard adolescence as such starting at age 13 or 14. Adolescence is characterized by a set of physical, hormonal and psychological transformations in the person.

Adolescent - Someone who is in adolescence.

Aggression - Verbal and/or physical attack on someone due to predisposition to hostility.

Aggressive - Person predisposed to hostility. It also means the hostile act itself.

Alarm - Set of biologic reactions indicating imminence of major hazard.

Antidepressant - Medications used in the treatment of depression.

Anxiety - State of discomfort, in which apprehension predominates, given a threat which is seen with the "eyes of one's imagination," a vague risk, with or without physical lesion.

Anxiety Disorders - Disorders in which the main symptom is the anxiety. Examples: phobias, generalized anxiety, anxiety due to a physical condition.

Anxious Disorder - Any disturbance in which anxiety predominates.

Anxiousness - Intense desire for something.

Appointment - A meeting with a professional.

Approach - Manner or method of focusing or interpreting some issue; in this website's case, matters related to Shyness, Social Phobia, psychotherapy, medication treatment, and explanations in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Examples: behavioral approach, psychoanalytic approach, cognitivist approach, Rogerian approach, Yungian approach.

Attack - Sudden appearance of symptoms and/or signs of a state of strong inner alteration. Example: anxiety attack.

Barrier - Obstacle to fulfilling some desire, aspiration or need. It is common in psychological processes for obstacles to be found inside the organism itself, in function of assimilation or introjection of some type of censoring or criticism leveled at such desires, aspirations or needs.

Behavior - Someone's conduct due to internal and/or external stimulus.

Behavior Analysis - A theory developed by B.F. Skinner based in the conditioned and unconditioned reflexes.

Behavior Pattern - Set of characteristics serving to describe a behavior which repeats itself.

Belief - Conviction which does not abide by rational criteria.

Capable - Presence of performance abilities or conditions.

Cause - Factor contributing to the onset of any disharmony or disorder as causes of Social Anxiety.

Child - Used in this website to identify the individual from the first months of life to the onset of puberty. Reference to the first months of life is due to reports which identify Shyness at this time.

Childhood (Infancy) - Related to the first years of life. In this website, it is used to represent individuals from the first few months of life to the onset of puberty.

Clinical - Relating to the activity of a physician, psychologist or any professional in the health area. It can also refer to someone's physical, mental or psychological state.

Cognitive-Behavioral - This refers to a cognitive and behavioral approach. In therapy, it refers to psychotherapy focusing on change in behavior and in the cognitive processes of the Cognitive Theory. The Cognitive Theory was developed by Jean Piaget, but other versions have been presented. The change in behavior is based on the clinical applications of B. F. Skinner's Behavioral Analysis.

Common Sense - Set of values, ideas, concepts, cultivated by a social group, regarded as true and which are not the object of questioning.

Concept - Thought activity which allows an abstract or concrete notion in identifying, describing and classifying elements and aspects of reality.

Conditioned Reflex — Non-voluntary response to a stimulus, expressed through behavior or physiologic alteration, similar to previous responses obtained by repetition of the stimulus.

Consultation - In this website, it is the circumstance in which somebody is examined by a professional seeking to obtain a diagnosis and/or orientation and/or prescription for her psychological or psychiatric difficulties.

Crisis - Sudden onset of symptoms and/or signs of a state of strong internal alteration. Example: social anxiety crisis.

Criticism - In this website, its meaning is to belittle someone.

Culture - Set of patterns of behavior, beliefs, knowledge, customs, etc. that distinguish a social group. The social group can be circumscribed to a region or comprise an entire people or region of the globe. Examples: Western culture, family culture (these aforementioned things in a given family).

Cure - Recovery from a disease and regaining health.

Curriculum - A short account of career and qualifications.

Depreciate - The same as devalue, belittle.

Depression - Clinical condition characterized by a lowering of mood or loss of interest during a period of at least two weeks and accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms: loss of appetite, sleep disorders, restlessness, reduction in physical activity, crying, despondency, or isolation.

Desire - Expectation of reaching a certain situation. Distinct from need, which is indispensable to the organism, while desire can be had without being fulfilled.

Deviation - Something (not a run-of-the-mill pattern) that does not abide by a standard or rule which someone or a group has made conventional.

Diagnosis - Label that a professional gives to a clinical situation and which enables another professional to understand it.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Manual to guide the diagnosis of mental disorders, drawn up by the American Psychiatry Association.

Disagreement - Contradictory positions, lack of harmony.

Discipline - Word used in this website to mean a subject matter which is taught in a teaching institution and is part of its academic curriculum.

Discord - Contradictory positions, lack of harmony.

Disease - Set of signs and symptoms that identify a given change in one's health. A decreasingly-used word, on account its failure to convey the transient nature of various changes in the organism or in the psychic sphere.

Disorder - Any abnormal mental or physical condition.

Doctor - Academic graduate-level title in a specific area. Example: doctor in public administration (it means that, following the undergraduate course in administration, the person obtained the title of doctor in public administration through a course and original research in this area).

DSM-IV - Abbreviation of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disturbances, 4th edition. It is a publication of the American Psychiatry Association which expanded and made more objective the diagnosis criteria in the area. For legal effects, IDC (International Desease Classification) is used in most countries.

Eclectic - Use of resources from various approaches, on account of deeming this to be better than using resources from one approach only.

Emotion - Set of physical and psychic signals and symptoms indicative of organismic experience. Many times is used as synonymous of feeling.

Epidemiology - Study of factors that cause the onset, distribution, propagation, and frequency of diseases or disturbances, as well as instruments for its prevention.

Episode - Eventual occurrence.

Evaluation - To determine the condition of the client by observation, study, appraisal.

Experience - Particular manner in which the organism perceives and feels a given situation.

External - Used in this website to mean that which is outside the individual.

Family Dynamic - Family movements and evolution which follow a pattern.

Fantasy - That which is imagined.

Fear - Apprehension before a real, objective threat, risk of physical lesion or loss of life. It is also used to translate the threat felt in anxiety.

Feeling - Part of an experience that has a bit of emotion.

Fragile - Person susceptible to external influences.

Fragility - Condition of a fragile person.

Fulfillment Capability - Presence of abilities or conditions to reach objectives. In this website, oftentimes it is a reference to the conditions required to reach several objectives and well-being.

Generalization - Act of extending a person's experience to other conditions, objects or situations. In general, the areas reached have some relation or connection or similarity to the area of the original experience. It is also a thought process at the conceptual level, through which a general concept is formed.

Genetic - Related to the structure of the genes and, therefore, to heredity.

Genuine Interest - Attitude of true, authentic interest for the other. One of the three attitudes the psychotherapist of any psychotherapeutic current needs to help clients, according to Carl Rogers.

Help - A word with two meanings. The first is to provide direct, objective orientation on anything, including—as in this website's theme—any direct help with Shyness and/or Social Phobia. The second meaning is more generic and indicates any condition offered for advancement of any person; just by having someone listen attentively, a person can be helped.

Hereditary - Related to genetic inheritance, derived from genes structure.

Humiliation - Moral downgrading that a person is subjected to.

IDC-10 - Abbreviation of the International Disease Classification, 10th edition, of the World Health Organization.

Impotence - Impossibility or lack of force (powerlessness) to do something.

Inhibit - To limit or block performance by having one psychological activity overlap another.

Inhibition - Condition in which performance and/or free expression is limited or blocked due to one psychological activity overlapping another.

Interact - To exercise interaction.

Internal Discord - Contradictory positions, lack of harmony between thoughts, ideas, feelings, values, and beliefs.

Internal Interaction - Reciprocal action of desires, feelings, and thoughts in the individual.

Internal Process - Process resulting from reciprocal action of desires, feelings, and thoughts in the individual.

International Disease Classification - Ordering of diseases and physical and mental disturbance, according to universal criteria, expressed in alpha-numeric symbols which allow identification of the nature of the problem anywhere in the world.

Introversion - Action of turning into and towards oneself.

Irrational - That which flees from or resists reason.

Irrational Fear - Apprehension before a threat which is non existent in reality.

Isolation - Interruption of contacts with people.

Joy - State of expressing feelings of contentment, jubilation.

Judgment - An opinion or evaluation.

Learning - Process of acquiring new knowledge.

Living - Process of living out or experiencing a situation.

Longing - A strong desire.

Medication - Chemical substance used in medical treatments. Those used in Social Phobia belong to a group of medications known as psychotropic.

Mental Disease - Set of signs and symptoms in the psychic area requiring the care of specialized professionals. The expression has been practically abandoned and replaced by mental disorder.

Mental Disorder - Generic expression to characterize all the abnormal mental condition. It replaces the expression mental disease.

Mild Anxiety - State of discomfort, in which apprehension predominates, given a threat capable of producing little-aggressive damages. There may be anxiety without this state of discomfort—for instance, when there occurs some physiological alteration generated by psyche.

Mild Social Phobia - Irrational and persistent fear of one or more social performance situation, generating a slight desire to avoid them. This leads the individual to face situations with minor fear or to avoid them altogether.

Moderate Anxiety - State of discomfort, in which apprehension predominates, given a threat capable of producing damages of some expression.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor A chemical substance capable of inhibiting the monoamine oxidase enzyme, which plays a part in the metabolism of adrenalin and noradrenalin.

Metabolic - Related to metabolism.

Metabolism - The chemical processes in any organism that provide energy for vital processes and assimilation of substances.

Neuroleptic Medication that has a tranquilizing or anti-psychotic action and that can produce motor changes.

Neuron - Cell that is the functional unit of nervous tissue. It has dendrites (branches of protoplasm) and one axon (a long extension of the protoplasm) that give to it a treelike image. The nervous impulses flow from a neuron to others through the dendrites and to body through the axon.

Neurotransmitter - Chemical substance responsible for the transmission of electric impulses from one neuron to another or from a neuron to an executor organ.

Nucleus - It refers to a set of primary biological processes which have remained as they started and generate other (secondary) processes.

Orgasm The moment at which sexual pleasure reaches its climax.

Other - It refers to someone other than the person himself/herself. This someone is anyone.

Overcoming - To arrive at a better condition, such as by conquering the fear.

Overcoming Shyness - Change the internal process with the recovery of organismic harmony, updating the self.

Panic - Intense and sudden anxiety which compromises the individual's capacity to think and act in coordinated fashion.

Pathologic - Containing morbidity.

Pattern - Model serving as a reference.

Perception - Action to know the environment through physical sensations.

Performance - The same as execution. In Shyness and in Social Phobia, the word has the meaning of execution in the presence of one or more persons.

Personal Growth - Vague expression which identifies things such as updating the self, psychological maturation, social skills development, improving self-esteem, and the process of adjusting to one's age bracket.

Personal Value - Evaluation regarding merits, according to cultural standards, which someone uses to fit into a social group.

Personality - A term used in popular and psychological senses. The most satisfactory sense is the integrated and dybamic organization of the mental, physical, moral and social qualities os the individual, as that manifests otself to toher people, in the give and take of social life. On further analysis it would appear in the main to comprise the natural and acquired impulses, and habits, interests, and complexes, the sentiments and ideals, the opinions and beliefs, as manifested in his relations with his social environment.

Personality Theory - Organized set of ideas, concepts, and principles, which explain how the individual develops in the personality field and why she takes on certain features, and is still able to do some forecasting related to alterations in this set.

Pharmacologic - Relating to treatment with medication.

Physical Aggression - Physical attack on someone due to a predisposition to hostility.

Phobia - The irrational and persistent fear of a situation, object or activity, generating an intense desire of avoiding them. This leads the person to face the situation, object or activity with much fear or to avoid them altogether. The irrational and persistent fear of a situation, object, animal or activity, generating an intense desire to avoid them. This leads the person to face the situation, object, animal or activity with much fear or to avoid them altogether.

Physician - Individual who graduated in medicine and is qualified to prescribe treatments or medications.

Physiologic Alteration - Any change in normal organism operation. Example: faster heart beating.

Potentially - That which is capable of coming to be or coming to generate effect.

Pre-menstrual Period - Period which precedes the menstrual flow and which, theoretically, goes from half the cycle, when ovulation occurs, to flow start. In practice, it refers to a variable 3-to-7-day period that antecedes flow start, since this is the time when most women show typical signs and/or symptoms, which disappear following the first or second day of flow.

Professional - In this web site is a person who works with psychotherapy.

Psychiatrist - Physician lawfully able to treat mental disorders.

Psychiatry - Medical specialization in the area of mental disorders.

Psychodynamic - Psychological processes developed in the individual's life since childhood and their effects on mental states and behavior.

Psychological Current - Theoretical set that identifies a certain group in psychology.

Psychological Pattern - Set of thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and beliefs, which serve as reference points to describe the individual.

Psychological Problem - Any situation in which the individual does not fulfill her potential. Examples: If the individual mobilizes only part of his potential to love, he has a problem in this area. Other definitions are possible, depending on the chosen personality theory.

Psychological Process - Sequence of internal actions involving thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs, and values.

Psychological Suspense - Literary form in which the theme is situated in the psychological arena and shown as suspense.

Psychologist - Professional legally capable of working with psychology.

Psychology - Branch of knowledge related to mental or psychic matters of the individual and social groups.

Psychotherapeutic Approach - This matter is focused on the psychotherapy field. Examples: psychotherapy approach to Social Phobia. It can also refer to a given approach or school of psychotherapy. Examples: Cognitive-Behavioral psychotherapy approach, Rogerian psychotherapy approach.

Psychotherapy - Treatment of emotional disorders by psychological processes.

Psychotherapy School - Set of knowledge used in psychotherapy congregating followers, admirers, and users. In general, it receives the name of the exponential person in the formulation of such knowledge. Examples: Freudian school, Skinnerian school, Rogerian school.

Psychotherapeutic Techniques - Set of tools and modes of implementing actions in order to reach the objectives of a given psychotherapy foreseen in the theoretical field.

Psychotherapeutic Theories - Personality theories or general statements on the psychological development of human being upon which are based the psychotherapies.

Psychotherapeutic Theory and Technique - A set of plausible, organized or scientifically acceptable principles to explain the psychotherapeutic processs, and a set of tools and modes of implementing actions in order to reach the objectives of the theory. Many psychotherapies are only a set of tools without a set of a complete theory.

Psychotherapist - Person who practices psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy - Psychological treatment. Depending on the professional's current, the treatment is described as learning or experience or both.

Rational - To be based on reason.

Reaction - Response to a stimulus expressed through behavior.

Relationship - Interaction between two or more persons.

'Remedy' - On this website, the same as medication.

Resources - A set of means and actions to support and/or recover somebody.

Scientific - Related to science.

Scientific Instrument - Tool used in the field of science.

Scientific Paper - Publication which follows a given theme-presentation methodology, known as scientific methodology, and is preceded by research which, in turn, also follows the scientific methodology, thus allowing its reproduction by third parties. They are generally published in specialized journals and earmarked for specific communities.

Self - The totality of the individual: the sum total of body, feelings, emotions, thoughts, and values identifying him or her. Also used in the sense of the personalityor ego, regarde as an agent, conscious of his own continuing identity; often used widely of an animal or even material object regarded as n agent. Employed as a prefix or as a separated word.

Self-concept - Set of values and beliefs, conscious or accessible to consciousness, as well as attitudes and opinions the individual has of himself or herself in relation to the other, the world, and whatever the mind can reach.

Self-depreciation - Devaluing oneself. On this website, it is used to express more specifically devaluing one's body or part of it.

Self-devaluation - Reduction of esteem for oneself.

Self-esteem - Confidence and/or satisfaction in oneself.

Self-Knowledge - The knowledge of one's own feelings, motivations, values, capabilities, beliefs.

Self-Perception - The perception that a person has of oneself.

Self-reference - Reliable indications found inside the individual. For instance, he may say or just realize that he is not appreciating a situation, even though one or more other persons may in fact expect otherwise.

Severe - Extremely serious disorder.

Shy - Characteristic of an individual Shyness sufferer. It implies also reserve and shrinking from contact from others.

Shyness - Performance inhibition in social situations. It indicates the existence of mild or moderate Shyness, tolerable by the individual, and which does not preclude taking advantage of situations.

Shyness Sufferer - Somebody who shows signs and symptoms of Shyness.

Side Effects - Undesirable effects of medication.

Sign - That which can be objectively evaluated, measured, weighted and which indicates some disturbance, infection or disease. Example: accelerated heart beat.

Social - That which refers to groups, a set of persons, or a collectivity.

Social Ability - Characteristic of a person who deals easily with social performance situations.

Social Anxiety - Intense anxiety in social performance situations. The same as Social Phobia and Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder - Intense anxiety in social performance situations. Synonym for Social Phobia.

Social Anxiety Sufferer - Somebody who shows signs and symptoms of Social Phobia / Anxiety Disorder.

Social-Phobia - Anxiety disorder in performance social situations. The same as Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social Phobia Sufferer - Somebody who shows signs and symptoms of Social Phobia / Anxiety Disorder.

Social Performance - Execution of some act in a social situation. It can simply be remaining silent in the presence of another person or eating in public or speaking to an audience which. There are countless social situations in which performance is at stake.

Social Skill - Ability to be effective in social situations.

Statement - a report of opinions and/or evidences and/or facts.

Sufferer - Someone who is being plagued by physical and/or moral pain and/or another ill feeling, such as anxiety, sadness, or anguish.

Suffering - Being plagued by physical and/or moral pain and/or another ill feeling, such as anxiety, sadness, anguish.

Symptom - That which is subjective and felt on account of a disturbance, infection, or disease. Example: pain.

Tender Loving Care - Expression of caring, which may or may not be physical.

Therapy - On this website, it is used at times as synonym for treatment, sometimes as synonym for psychotherapy.

Thesis - In the academic field, an original proposal that is proven by research and publicly defended before a magna-sapientia learned panel. Any idea supported by arguments.

Thinking Block - Any obstacle to the flow of thinking.

Thought - Faculty to think, imagine, meditate, reflect, fantasize, or form an opinion.

Threat - Promise of aggression or foreboding. In Social Phobia, someone feels threat and expectation of aggression, of being devaluated, belittled, criticized or ill at ease in a given situation.

Thereatener - Someone who is perceived as a threat. In Social Anxiety/Phobia, someone who is perceived as giving signs of possible aggression.

Treatment - Any intervention (psychological, physical, medication-based) seeking to eliminate a given disorder or disease.

Tricyclic - Group of medications used in the treatment of mental disturbances and characterized by presenting a chemical structure in which the carbon atoms interconnect to form three fused rings or interconnected circles with a lateral chain.

Updating the Self - Set the self in a balance state. Example: If a person experiences conflict between a demand from the organism and a censoring of such demand, the solution for the conflict—whatever it may be—reestablishes or establishes balance, what is known as updating the self.

Value - Set of principles or norms on a given theme, adopted by someone on account of being regarded as good and worthy of cultivation.

Witnessing - Statement from one or more persons on the efficacy of a psychotherapy technique or current.