Do you have social anxiety? So you can recognize it

We live in society, and all the time we need to interact with others. Many times we have to expose ourselves to situations that can generate a bit of anxiety, such as talking in public on a stage.

It is normal that before a situation of extreme exposure we feel nervous. But some people suffer from social interaction to such an extent that it interferes with their daily lives, their work and all their life activities. That is called social anxiety and it is much more common than it seems.

What is it about? How to distinguish "normal" anxiety from social anxiety? In this article we tell you everything you need to know about it.

What is social anxiety?

It is a chronic mental health condition in which all daily interactions cause fear, insecurity and shame due to fear of scrutiny or the opinion of others.

As we said, being a little nervous before a first date is not suffering from social anxiety. Instead, being unable to face social situations that make us nervous, even if they are simple like eating in public, then we are more likely to have this disorder.

Thus, the main difference between social anxiety and daily nervousness is that the former interferes with daily routine, work, school or other activities.

This disorder is suffered by between 5 and 13 percent of the population. Studies in this regard indicate that it is more common in women than in men (3 to 2), but they are the most likely to ask for help.

Its onset is more frequent in adolescence, although it may start sooner or later, and many people do not seek help until social anxiety is interfering too much in their lives.

(You may also be interested: With these practices you can keep anxiety out of your life)

Symptoms of social anxiety: how to recognize it

But what does it mean that social anxiety interferes with life? What are its concrete symptoms? While they may vary from one person to another, these are the most common symptoms shared by those who suffer from this condition, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Avoid social situations such as:

– Interact with unfamiliar people or strangers
– Attend parties or social gatherings
– Go to work or school
– Start conversations
– Make eye contact
– Have appointments
– Enter a room where others are already seated
– Return items to a store
– Eat in front of others
– Use a public bathroom

  • Feel strong emotional sensations, such as:

– Fear of situations where you could be tried
– Anguish for feeling embarrassed or humiliated
– Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
– Fear that others will notice that you are anxious
– Fear of having physical symptoms that may cause you discomfort, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or shaking your voice
– Stop doing some activities or stop talking to certain people for fear of feeling embarrassed
– Avoid situations where you can be the center of attention
– Have anxiety in the moments before facing a situation or activity that scares you
– Support a social situation with anxiety or intense fear
– After a social situation, analyze your performance and identify faults in your interactions
– Expect the worst possible consequences of a negative experience in a social situation

  • Manifest physical symptoms, such as:

– Blush
– Rapid heartbeat
– Tremors
– Sweating
– Stomach upset or nausea
– Difficulty breathing
– Dizziness or lightheadedness
– Feeling that the mind goes blank
– Muscle tension

What to do if you suffer from social anxiety

The reality is that overcoming this anxiety disorder is quite complicated without professional help. Therefore, the first advice if you think you suffer from social anxiety is to consult a specialist in the subject.

Regardless, there are some things you can do that can help lessen the impact of social anxiety in your life.

  • Keep a diary

Writing what happens to you every day can help you understand what causes you the most anxiety, and in that way try to work on that particular aspect.

  • Establish priorities

Managing your time and energy well can help you live more calmly and lessen the impact of social anxiety. Try to give priority in your life to what you do well and enjoy, and always looking for the time to do it.

  • Avoid the consumption of unhealthy substances

The consumption of alcohol and drugs, and even caffeine or nicotine, can cause or worsen anxiety. Therefore, a good idea is to get away from them.

If you have addiction to any of these substances, it is best that you turn to a professional to achieve it.

(You may also be interested: Signs that the anxiety you feel is a real problem)

Did you know about social anxiety? What do you think about it? Tell us your experiences in the comments.

Important: It should be clarified that Bioguia does not give medical advice or prescribe the use of techniques as a form of treatment for physical or mental problems without the advice of a doctor, either directly or indirectly. In the case of applying for this purpose any information on this site, Bioguia does not assume responsibility for these acts. The intention of the site is only to offer information of a general nature to help in the search of development and personal growth.


Actuality in Psychology

Mayo Clinic