What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Many of us feel uncomfortable in social gatherings, become more concious when speaking in front of crowd, giving presentation or ordering from menu in restaurent. But when this anxiety become to much and the person is concerned about being harsly judged and evaluated for their performance or interpersonal interactions. Then it is social anxiety disorder. SAD is an out-of- proportion fear of one or more social suituations.

Hallmark of Social Anxiety Disorder is “Functional impairment” in important facet of life functioning. Also known as social phobia, fear of embarrassment, fear of rejection.

Over all prevelance of SAD is 2-3% and more common in women than men. It has peak onset in early teen age years. There is increased risk of Drug Abuse, Depressive episodes and suicide cases.


Risk factors

  • Family history
  • Very harsh and strict parenting style
  • Genetic role
  • Childhood sign of behavioural inhibition

Social and behavioural Symptoms

  • Performance anxiety when speaking in front of crowd
  • Severe anxiety at meeting strangers
  • Fear in doing simple things in front of others like (Signing, Ordering from Menu)
  • Mind go blank in social situtaions
  • Refraining from certain activities or talking to people because of fear of embarrassment

 Physical Symptoms

  • Heart palpitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Blushing
  • Cold hands
  • Confusion
  • Weeping or Crying
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle tension
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dificulty in talking

What to Do

  • Subconcious feeding- when we feed positive thoughts like “I can do it” “I will do my best” to our subconcious mind, our body and mind actualy tune together to do best, but telling your self “you are a shy person” will reinforce current anxiety. Thoughts fuel behavioural pattern.
  • Avoid Alcohol or Drugs- Don’t ever use drugs to overcome shyness. They will make situation more worse.
  • Stress management techniques- Relaxation, Deep breathing, Yoga, Meditation helps a person to over come negative thoughts process.
  • Exposure therapy- Start going out and face situation. In case of anxiety take deep breathing and try to relax.

 If still things are not getting better, take help of professional. Psychotherapy and medication will definitely help you.

Dr. Anita Gautam

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of PatientNextDoor. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and PatientNextDoor does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.


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