SOURCE: Joyable


December 22, 2015 09:00 ET

Holidays Add Fuel to the Fire as 54% of Americans Report Social Anxiety

New Survey From Joyable Reveals Americans' Biggest Stressors and Coping Methods This Holiday Season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 22, 2015) - The holidays can be a magical season of festive cheer, but a new survey from Joyable, the leading online program for overcoming social anxiety, reveals that, for most Americans, the social events that accompany the winter season can be fraught. With 54 percent of Americans reporting that they experience social anxiety, it's no surprise that a majority of this group (56 percent) say social events cause them stress during the holidays, topping both shopping for holiday gifts (46 percent) and interacting with family members (43 percent).

Those who experience social anxiety are over five times more likely to report stress caused by social events and twice as likely to experience stress from family interactions. What seems like a simple case of being a party wallflower can have serious consequences: Those who experience social anxiety are more likely to depend on alcohol to get through parties (38 percent) than those who do not (28 percent).

For Younger Generations, An Uphill Battle

Millennials are an oft-discussed generation, perceived as more confident with technology than with face-to-face interactions. According to Joyable's survey, 70 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 experience social anxiety, more than any other age group. The 45 percent of millennials for whom holiday social events are a source of stress often depend on their smartphones or social media (51 percent) to make it through holiday celebrations.

Spotlight on New England, the Country's Most-Stressed Region

The survey also revealed that New Englanders seem to be the most social group, with 77 percent planning to attend holiday parties this year. However, the numerous Northeastern social occasions are likely to prove daunting for this group, as they also report the highest rate of social anxiety compared to other regions; 70 percent of respondents in New England report experiencing social anxiety.

To help get themselves through these fêtes, New Englanders turn to comfort eating. More than any other region of the country, respondents in New England report depending on food to get through holiday parties (68 percent).

For Those who Struggle, A Chance for Help

With an issue so widespread, it seems unfathomable that it should go untreated, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 85 percent of Americans with social anxiety don't get adequate help. In this survey, respondents shed some light on why that may be the case: Traditional therapy is out of most Americans' price range (55 percent), while others either hesitate to meet someone in person (21 percent) or simply don't have mental health professionals in their local area (11 percent). Devastatingly, more than a quarter of respondents simply don't believe help is out there for them (28 percent).

"This is a serious problem that can have serious consequences, and these results show just how widespread social anxiety is," said Pete Shalek, co-founder and CEO, Joyable. "We're proud to offer a proven, affordable and accessible solution that can help individuals break the cycle, with an evidence-based approach that can deliver life-changing results during the holidays and year-round."

2016: A Chance to Turn Over a New Leaf

The new year provides an opportunity to examine personal goals, and across the U.S., 18 percent of people hope to spend less time alone in 2016. Millennials have their sights set on professional development: Their desire to overcome their fear of talking to their boss (13 percent) is more than two times greater than any other generation. New Englanders are looking to spend less time alone (25 percent) and are more interested in meeting new people (54 percent) than any other region in the country. Visit Joyable's blog for an infographic detailing these resolutions and other key findings of the survey.

For those who struggle with social anxiety, Joyable offers a program that can help. The company's proven solution combines evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with support from trained coaches who guide and motivate clients through the self-paced program, which has already helped thousands of clients make social connections more easily and live their best lives. Ninety-three percent of Joyable clients see their anxiety decline, and the average decline is 39 percent -- a life-changing difference for those in need.

Joyable surveyed 1,188 U.S. adults via Survey Monkey between November 30 and December 1, 2015. The margin of error is +/-2.76 percentage points assuming a 95 percent confidence level.

About Joyable
Joyable is the leading online program for overcoming social anxiety, a treatable condition that affects more than 15 million Americans. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 85 percent of people struggling with it are not receiving minimally adequate treatment, often because no local help is available or because this type of anxiety is a barrier to seeing a therapist in person. Joyable provides an effective and affordable online solution for overcoming social anxiety, based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with expert coaching to ensure clients are supported and encouraged to achieve their goals. Learn more about Joyable or take our Social Anxiety Test at

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