Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. It can entail one having a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched, judged, embarrassed, or humiliated by their own actions. This fear can directly interfere with work, school, or other social interactions. Social Anxiety can often be associated with feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, and/or depression, can also lead to alienation.
Social anxiety can relate to the whole spectrum, or be specifically orientated to one type of situation, whether that be a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, eating or drinking in front of others, or just being around other people. Physical symptoms can also accompany and evidence one’s social anxiety. These symptoms can include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, difficulty speaking, nausea, and other symptoms related to anxiety. These symptoms can become an additional focus of fear, as they can heighten the fear of disapproval or ridicule.
Social Anxiety may be accompanied by depression and/or other anxiety disorders, such as panic attack disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Some people suffering Social Anxiety self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol in order to cope with their fears, which can lead to addiction.
Social anxiety, as well the associated issues can all be treated, it is important to discuss these problems which you may be facing with a psychologist, who can help you to overcome your anxiety and enjoy your life with a greatly reduced amount of stress.