As much as 13% of the general population could at some point or other in their life, meet the criteria to be suffering from Social Anxiety disorder according to some experts. This is a disorder wherein sufferers typically display an intense fear of social situations. The distress caused may be so acute that normal social functioning could well be impaired.
A generalized form of the disorder causes a person to have persistent and all pervasive fear of being humiliated by one’s own actions and a constant fear of being embarrassed in social situations.
On the other hand, the disorder could be specific in nature where the person fears specific situations.
It is important to diagnose this disorder lest in progress into a more severe mental condition.
Depression could result or the sufferer may resort to substance abuse. Symptoms to watch out for:
A sufferer will compulsively go over every aspect of an upcoming social situation. There is a dread of how others will perceive the person.
There is an extreme degree of self consciousness and an erroneous belief that others perceive and are judging the sufferer negatively. After the social interaction as well, the person may mull on negative aspects for a long time.
A person suffering from social anxiety disorder will find that when they are in a situation that causes high anxiety they will sweat profusely, experience shaking, nausea and even palpitations. Many find they blush obviously, further adding to their own embarrassment.
Hands may tremble and the person may stammer when talking though they do not have a speech impediment as such. At times it is children who suffer from this disorder and may display symptoms such as excessive weepiness, clinginess, throwing tantrums, and becoming anti social.
A person may suffer from shyness to the point of being painfully shy around others. There could be an active avoidance of social situations, which could actually result in the person being unable to function professionally in an office or similar environment.
For instance, when giving a presentation to co workers, if the person makes an error of some sort, it is likely that he will agonize over it endlessly, even though others may not even have noticed his slip. There may be a reluctance or fear to speak on the telephone because of this social anxiety.