Social Anxiety Disorder
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
A person with social anxiety disorder has significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected or looked down on in social interactions. People with this disorder will try to avoid the situation or endure it with great anxiety. Common examples are extreme fear of public speaking, meeting new people or eating/drinking in public. Performance type of social anxiety disorder is when you experience intense fear and anxiety only during speaking or performing in public, but not in other types of social situations.
Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:
- Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
- Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
- Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
- Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
- Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
- Avoiding situations where you might be the centre of attention
- Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
- Enduring a social situation with intense fear or anxiety
- Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
- Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation For children,anxiety about interacting with adults or peers may be shown by crying, having temper tantrums, clinging to parents or refusing to speak in social situations.
Physical signs and symptoms can sometimes accompany social anxiety disorder and may include:
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Dizziness or light headedness
- Muscle tension
- Fast heartbeat
- Trouble catching your breath
- Feeling that your mind has gone blank
- Avoiding common social situations
Common, everyday experiences that may be hard to endure when you have social anxiety disorder include, for example:
- Interacting with unfamiliar people or strangers
- Going to work or school
- Making eye contact
- Entering a room in which people are already seated
- Eating in front of others
- Attending parties or social gatherings
- Starting conversations
- Returning items to a store
- Using a public restroom
Social anxiety disorder symptoms can change over time. They may flare up if you’re facing a lot of stress or demands. Although avoiding situations that produce anxiety may make you feel better in the short term, your anxiety is likely to continue over the long term if you don’t get treatment.
Are you ready to make a change?
You are very welcome to get in touch, for any enquiries or questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.