Social Anxiety Disorder:More Than Mere Shyness

Social Anxiety Disorder:More Than Mere Shyness

What is Social Phobia?

Social Phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder (SAD), is the fear of social situations. During these social instances, a person has feelings of anxiety, being judged, embarrassed or self-conscious. Having a social phobia is not merely a problem with shyness, but a serious fear of social interaction that some avoid at all costs.

Approximately 3.7% of Americans aged 18 to 54 have a social phobia each year. This disorder is especially common among women, occurring approximately twice as often as in men. Early adolescence is the typical time for this phobia to first develop. In fact, approximately 40% of socially related phobias begin before the age of ten and 95% begin before the age of 20.

Common Social Phobias

Social phobias vary according to each person, but some common social anxiety problems include:

  • Public speaking
  • Eating or drinking
  • Taking tests
  • Meeting new people
  • Dating
  • Performing in front of an audience
  • Writing
  • Attending parties

Symptoms of Social Phobia

Emotional

  • Fear of:
    • Judgment
    • Embarrassment
    • Awkward situations
    • Humiliation
  • Anxious

Physical

  • Blushing
  • Trembling, shaking
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Tense muscles
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