Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s normal to feel shy or uncomfortable in some social situations. However, if an individual avoids everyday social interactions because they experience fear, worry, or panic, they may be experiencing social anxiety. Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is characterized by an intense and pervasive fear of being judged, embarrassed, or rejected. Individuals with social anxiety may worry about interacting with strangers and avoid being the center of attention. During a social interaction, they may experience physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking, sweating, and increased heart rate; after the interaction, they may ruminate or catastrophize about how the other person perceived them. Social anxiety may interfere with an individual’s ability to go to make phone calls or interact with staff members in stores, attend social gatherings, make friends, and attend school or work. Overall, social anxiety may seriously limit a person’s quality of life.