Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is characterized by a profound fear of social situations involving unfamiliar individuals or situations where one may face scrutiny. Individuals with social anxiety tend to avoid such scenarios to alleviate anxiety and diminish the fear of public embarrassment or scrutiny. This fear often stems from concerns about behaving in a manner that may lead others to form negative opinions of them.

What Does It Feel Like?

  • Very self-conscious in social situations, such as meeting strangers, speaking on the phone, working or even starting conversation
  • A persistent, intense, and chronic fear of judgement, especially by others (scrutiny) or doing something embarrassing
  • Shy and uncomfortable when being watched (giving a presentation, talking in a group)
  • Hesitant to talk to others
  • The need to avoid eye contact, often looking away or at the ground

You also might have physical symptoms such as

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Trouble catching breath or short/shallow breathing
  • Diaphoresis or sweating
  • Muscle twitching
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Blushing
  • Crying
  • Stomach cramps and diarrhea


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