Today we’re going to talk about social anxiety disorder symptoms and how to know if you have it. Does the fear of being embarrassed or scrutinized cause you to avoid speaking to people? Do you avoid activities in which you are the center of attention? And is your worst fear, being humiliated or being made to look inadequate in front of other people? If so, you might have a social anxiety disorder.
This video is intended to be informational only. It is not a medical consultation, nor is it personalized medical advice. For medical advice, please consult your physician.
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What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder is actually quite common and it’s one of the more common psychiatric disorders. In the United States, it has a lifetime prevalence of 5 to 12%. Social anxiety disorder is more common in women than men, but men, most certainly, can get it. And if you are going to get a social anxiety disorder, it usually presents itself in adolescence, usually in the mid-teens, but children as young as five years of age can be diagnosed and even people who are older can be diagnosed, especially if they are in a situation where there are new social activities.
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Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, can be quite debilitating. And here are some of the symptoms.
You Avoid Social Situations
You may have a social anxiety disorder if you avoid social situations. If you worry that you’re going to be embarrassed in front of other people, or if you fear that others will speak negatively of you if they perceive you as being inadequate.
You Interpret Neutral Reactions As Being Negative
For example, if you’re having a conversation with someone, which is quite normal, and they’re reacting to you in a very neutral manner, you may walk away thinking, “Oh, that person doesn’t like me. They think I’m not smart. They think I’m not good enough.” You may interpret something that is more negative than it actually is.
Fast Heart Rate
There are also some physical symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder. They include getting a fast heart rate or even irregular breathing or actually having a tremble or tremulousness.
Often Avoid Making Eye Contact or Speaking
If you are someone who avoids making eye contact or if you often avoid speaking to people you may have social anxiety.
You might have a social anxiety disorder if when you are in public or in front of other people, you start sweating, getting a very fast heart rate, blushing or feeling flushed, having some fast or irregular breathing.