Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorderĀ is the fear of situations in which a person can be watched by others, such as public speaking, or in which the behaviors which arise from the person's feelings might prove embarrassing, such as eating in public. It begins in late childhood or early adolescence.

The symptoms of this disorder are much like the symptoms of a panic attack ,or other generalized anxiety disorder. often times the symptoms of this disorder will mimic the feeling of stage fright.

They might "freeze" or be unable to think clearly enough to carry on a conversation with someone. A person may withdraw from participating in social activities, or avoid eye contact, hand shaking, and other social customs. They may quickly come up with an excuse to leave a social situation such a birthday party or wedding to avoid having a panic attack and embarrassing themselves.

In severe cases, a person may refuse to leave their homes, close and cover their windows even during the summer to avoid being seen, and even have difficulty speaking to people over the phone. This can be very debilitating, and often leads to severe depression.

People often feel that everyone around them is staring at them and judging them in a negative way. Most of the time a person with anxiety disorder knows that their fear is irrational, and becomes embarrassed about the disorder itself, feeling that they may offend the people around them, or appear "stuck up".

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