Social Anxiety Disorder

People with social anxiety disorder suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinions of others. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can negatively interfere with the person’s normal daily routine, including school, work, social activities and relationships.

People with social anxiety disorder may be afraid of a specific situation, such as speaking in public. However, most people with social anxiety disorder fear more than one social situation. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include:

  • Eating or drinking in front of others
  • Writing or working in front of others
  • Being the center of attention
  • Interacting socially, such as in dating or at parties
  • Asking questions or giving reports in groups
  • Using public toilets
  • Talking on the telephone

Some symptoms of social anxiety disorder are:

  • intense anxiety in social situations
  • avoidance of social situations
  • confusion
  • pounding heart
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • blushing
  • muscle tension
  • upset stomach and diarrhea
  • children with this disorder may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent or throwing a tantrum