Have you ever seen anyone who hides from faces, or feels shaky while mounting the podium as a result of the crowd? Falling down or having shaky knee while talking to strangers may all be pointing to social anxiety disorder. So what is social anxiety disorder (SAD)? Social anxiety disorder popularly known as social phobia is an anxiety condition characterized by development of significant fear towards social advancements and situations which may result in distress and impaired ability to function properly within social settings and daily life.
According to a Wikipedia source:
a population-based studies revealed that about 66% of those who experience social anxiety symptoms develop additional mental health disorders.
Social anxiety disorder symptoms may be increased by perceived or actual scrutiny from others. Feelings of shyness and unwarranted discomfort are two of social anxiety disorder symptoms commonly found in children who suffer from social anxiety disorder, although life experiences and comfort levels also contributes to the extent of symptom expression.
Some of the first signs of social anxiety are spontaneous perspiration and fast pacing heart rate at the instance of possible sources of anxiety.
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder
There are physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms that accompany SAD which may include one or more of the following:
1. Stammering while talking
2. Increased heart palpitations
3. Nausea and feeling of vomiting
4. Excessive blushing
5. Rapid speech and panic attack under intense fear and discomfort
Other emotional, cognitive and behavioral social anxiety symptoms are the following:
6. Fear of social gatherings such as parties, social interactions, groups and dating circles.
7. Excessive fear of being judged by others which may turn into an embarrassing situation
8. Nervousness during speech and oral presentations
9. Inability to maintain eye contact for too long, this may be shown by sufferers crossing legs together while sitting down
10. Compulsive behaviors such as lying in order to protect self-image: This is a psychologically related social anxiety symptom which may degrade to more compulsive behaviors.
11. Depressive episodes: Patients diagnosed with SAD are at a higher risk of developing manic depression probably due to lack of personal relationships and long periods of isolation.
12. Difficulty to maintain focus
13. Alcoholism and drug substance usage: This is another social anxiety symptom derived from compulsive behaviors which developed from SAD. Long periods of depression may lead to using substances which are perceived to enhance mood.
14. ‘Expecting worst outcomes’ may be a complication of social anxiety disorder symptoms, which may further on to making deadly decisions.
15. Avoiding dating
16. Avoiding school or work
17. Difficulty initiating discussions
When you begin to fear situations and avoid normal social functions over a long period of time it may be time enough to see your doctor for psychological evaluation as this may cause mental distress and affect your daily activities.