It’s normal to feel nervous in some social situations. Going on a date or giving a presentation may cause that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. But in social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions cause significant anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment because you fear being scrutinized or judged by others. Those that deal with social anxiety, fear leads to avoidance that often times disrupts life. Severe stress can affect your daily routine, work, school or other activities.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
1. Fear of situations in which you may be judged
2. Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
3. Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
4. Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
5. Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
6. Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
7. Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
8. Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
9. Enduring a social situation with intense fear or anxiety
10. Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
11. Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation
Physical symptoms are a great way to tell if you or someone you love is dealing with social anxiety. These physical symptoms occur when you feel anxious or under display. These bodily actions may be apparent to other people, but in most cases they are always stronger and more apparent to the person exhibiting them than to the person displaying them.
Blushing, for example, is not perceived in a negative light by most people. In survey after survey, people report that blushing does not turn them off. In fact, it is endearing and has the tendency to make people like the person who blushes better. People (with social anxiety) who blush rarely believe this, though, and it takes progress against social anxiety before blushing recedes. Overcoming social anxiety resolves all these problems.
Physical signs and symptoms of social anxiety
2. Fast heartbeat
5. Upset stomach or nausea
6. Trouble catching your breath
7. Dizziness or lightheaded
8. Feeling that your mind has gone blank
9. Muscle tension
Social anxiety 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.