Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

One may experience anxiety occasionally which is an expected part of our daily lives, but what if it interferes with one’s life? An anxiety disorder is not temporary fear or worry regarding something, it’s much more severe. According to a psychologist in Pune, for a person with anxiety disorder, anxiety does not go away with time, it gets worse.

In the discourse of psychology, anxiety is defined as a situation when one’s ‘ego’ (the unit which is responsible for the postponement of gratification vis-à-vis the possibility of attainment of it) is under severe pressure. Several situations can create such an intense pressure, and hence, there are various kinds of anxiety disorders like generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) causes an intense fear of social situations where there is any possibility of being embarrassed or scrutinized. People suffering from social anxiety disorder might avoid social situations to prevent themselves from the chronic fear and vulnerability one feels in a social situation.

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder are taxonomically listed below:

  1. Physical Symptoms – these symptoms can be exceedingly impairing

Some of the physical symptoms one might experience:

  1. Disorientation
  2. Palpitation
  3. Heart Racing
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Nausea
  6. Shortness of breath
  7. Ringing in the ears
  8. Shivering
  9. Blurred Vision
  10. Dizziness
  11. Dry Mouth
  12. Headache
  13. Trembling Voice
  14. Muscle Tension
  15. Chest Tightness
  16. Chest Pain
  17. Sweating
  18. Blushing

At times, these symptoms become so significant that they end up in a panic attack, but people with SAD know that this is caused by the fear of performance and not because of some underlying medical problem.

 

  1. Cognitive Symptoms: Anxiety disorders affect thought patterns negatively making one doubt one’s self esteem, even eroding one’s self esteem if the disorder remains untreated.

 

Below are mentioned some cognitive symptoms one may experience:

 

  1. Negative Beliefs: Believing in the inadequacy of participating in social situations.
  2. Negative Thoughts: Negative evaluation of oneself.
  3. Negative Bias: A tendency to overlook a positive social encounter and magnify the social abilities of others.

 

  1. Behavioral Symptoms: People with social anxiety disorder often make fear driven choices.

Some common behavioral symptoms are:

  1. Escape: Escaping a social situation
  2. Safety Behavior: Controlling or limiting social interaction in order to control anxiety.
  3. Avoidance: Avoiding certain things to reduce anxiety about being in a social situation.

 

Social anxiety disorder appears differently in children and adolescents. Children might cling to their parents or refuse to play with a group of kids or complain about physical problems, and adolescents might avoid gatherings and have few friends.

 

Sometimes anxiety is triggered by social situations as well like giving a speech or having a conversation or eating in front of others or making a telephone call.

 

Social anxiety disorder goes beyond temporal fear or shyness in a social situation. It casts a shadow on every aspect of one’s life and can be extremely impairing. The narrowing and limiting of world to avoid social situations narrow down and limit potential opportunities as well.  If the above-mentioned symptoms are observed, one must seek help for social phobia treatment to live a life not shadowed gray by fear and pain.

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