Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Do Social Situations Scare You?
Almost everyone feels nervous when giving a presentation or going on a first date. But for those with social anxiety disorder, day-to-day interactions can cause severe distress. If you struggle with talking to others, you’re not alone. Today, we’ll discuss the symptoms of social anxiety, along with recommended treatment protocols for this disorder.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder isn’t just shyness. It’s a state of constant self-consciousness that can seriously impact the way a person functions. People with this condition feel preoccupied by a fear of judgement and negative perception by others. Normal interactions become anxiety-inducing, including everyday activities like interacting with a cashier or speaking up in a meeting.
Communicating and connecting become such daunting tasks that someone with this condition will often miss out on major opportunities to avoid discomfort. As a result, people with this diagnosis may avoid participating in group activities, going on dates, or making new friends. This type of avoidance is a hallmark of social anxiety disorder.
Social Anxiety Symptoms
The easiest way to identify an anxiety disorder is by taking a look at the diagnostic criteria, evaluating risk factors, and analyzing your past experiences.* Symptoms usually begin in late childhood and may manifest as shyness or avoidance of social situations. This particular condition is more common in women than men, and without proper treatment, may last indefinitely.
If the below indicators reflect your experience, we recommend you seek professional help.
- Avoiding certain situations, like parties, because they may cause anxiety
- Feeling a constant, persistent, intense fear of interacting with others
- Struggling to make eye contact or talk to strangers
- Having anxiety about being embarrassed or negatively perceived by others
- Dealing with nausea, trembling, or sweating during conversations
- Experiencing distress that interferes with daily functioning
- Worrying that others will judge you after an interaction
It is important to remember that medical conditions may cause symptoms that overlap with those listed above. That’s why the DSM-5-TR requires healthcare providers to rule out other potential explanations for a patient’s symptoms. Heart problems, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism may all create health issues that mimic an anxiety disorder.
*Please note that this article does not take the place of medical advice. If you believe you may have a mental health condition, you should speak to a health care professional.
Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Serene Behavioral Health offers comprehensive treatment for social anxiety. Our clinical professionals utilize a blend of evidence-based methods, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Support groups
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Mental health education
- Trauma-informed care
- Case management
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment options
You deserve to live a life free from constant fear and stress. If fear and worry are affecting your day-to-day functioning, contact our California mental health treatment center. Our expert clinicians are standing by to help those with social anxiety, depression, trauma-related disorders, and any combination of other conditions.