Social Anxiety, also called Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia is prevalent in our society but before we get into this topic let us see how social anxiety is defined, then what the symptoms of social anxiety are.
Definition - an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others.
* Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include constant:
Fear of situations in which you may be judged negatively
Worry 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
Avoidance of doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
Avoidance of situations where you might be the center of attention
Anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
- Intense fear or anxiety during social situations
Analysis of your performance and identification of flaws in your interactions after a social situation
Expectation of the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation
Social anxiety disorder is not just the feeling of shyness, disorder or nervousness in social situations. It includes fear, anxiety and avoidance that interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school or other activities. Social anxiety is said to begin in the teens or before, or even in adults.
Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder also has physical symptoms -
- Fast heartbeat
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Trouble catching your breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling that your mind has gone blank
- Muscle tension
Common, everyday experiences may be hard to endure when you have social anxiety disorder, including:
- Interacting with unfamiliar people or strangers
- Attending parties or social gatherings
- Going to work or school
- Starting conversations
- Making eye contact
- Entering a room in which people are already seated
- Returning items to a store
- Eating in front of others
- Using a public restroom
Individuals who suffer social anxiety find it very hard to interact with strangers, they avoid going to parties or attend social gatherings, even going to work or school can be very uncomfortable. Dating seems to hold special dread because of fear of being judged.
You may have difficulty making eye contact but this does not mean you have social phobia, it could be that you are lacking confidence in your social interaction and the confidence can increase once you become more at ease with the situation.
People who have this phobia can find it really hard to enter a room in which people are already seated, they can find it really difficult to eat in front of others. Other situations include using a public restroom, returning goods to a store. Making a presentation or giving a speech can be regarded as social anxiety butI believe it deserves a category of its own.
* From https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353561