Social Anxeity Disorder
What does it feel like?
The unifying theme in social anxiety disorder is a fear of
performing poorly in social situations and suffering
from embarrassment or humiliation. By definition,
social situations mean interacting with or performing
for other people and being under their potential
scrutiny. If a socially anxious individual's performance
is found wanting in some way, he often says to himself,
"How embarrassing" or "How humiliating." This fear of
embarrassment or humiliation causes these
individuals to either avoid those situations altogether,
or suffer extreme anxiety as they endure them. Their
lives can be further complicated by anticipatory fear of
upcoming social encounters.
In addition, social anxiety disorder sufferers often
experience physical symptoms before or during social
interaction. They may have palpitations, sweating and
trembling. Some experience flushing or blushing.
These physical indicators of anxiety may become part
of a vicious cycle. As socially anxious individuals
anticipate or become involved in social encounters,
they experience an increase in these troublesome
symptoms, which makes them even more anxious. In
addition, they worry that their anxiety or awkwardness
will become even more obvious, and this, in turn, leads
to further embarrassment and humiliation.