Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by intense fear or anxiety in social situations and/or performance situations.
Specifically, individuals with social anxiety disorder are fearful of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected by others. They may worry that others will think that they are stupid, awkward, or boring, or that they will make a fool out of themselves, "mess up," or appear visibly anxious.
Due to the magnitude of their anxiety, individuals with social anxiety disorder often try to avoid social situations often creating isolation and loneliness.
While it is normal to feel nervous in some social situations, people who experience daily social anxiety tend to avoid everyday interactions that cause them significant fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because they fear being scrutinized or judged by others.
People with Social Anxiety Disorder often experience significant distress in the following situations:
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched or observed while completing a task
- Having to say something in a formal, public setting
- Meeting people in authority, such as important people or authority figures
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations
- Embarrassing easily
- Meeting other people’s eyes
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
- High levels of fear
- Automatic negative emotional cycles
- Racing heart
- Excessive sweating
- Dry throat and mouth
- Trembling, and muscle twitches
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