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What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Symptoms & Causes

Want to know What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Here we have discussed about the causes and symptoms of social anxiety disorder and the remedies person suffering from it.

Ms Joshna Akula Anxiety 12 Jul 2022
social anxiety disorder
1 Month Ago 43 Reads 8 min read

Are you concerned about what others may think of you? In common social settings, do you feel self-conscious? Do you shy away from social situations because you're afraid or do you feel anxious constantly? You may have a social anxiety disorder if you have been experiencing these symptoms for at least six months and they are making it difficult for you to carry out daily tasks, such as interacting with others at work or school. An extreme, ongoing worry of being observed and evaluated by others is known as a social anxiety disorder. Work, school, as well as other daily activities may be impacted by this fear. It may even make it challenging to build and maintain friendships. The good news is that social anxiety disorder is curable. Read on to learn more about what is social anxiety disorder, its symptoms, and its treatment.

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social phobia another name for social anxiety disorder is a form of anxiety that makes people extremely fearful of being in social situations. Talking to others, making new friends, and going to social gatherings are a few social anxiety disorder symptoms. They are worried about people looking at them or judging them. Despite being aware of how absurd or irrational their concerns are, they may nevertheless indulge in negative overthinking and feel helpless to confront those concerns.

Being reserved does not equate to having social anxiety. A person's life is not disrupted by shyness, which is typically fleeting. Social anxiety is crippling and persistent. It can affect one’s ability to: 

  • Work
  • Attend School
  • The ability to form close bonds with people outside of their family.

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms


Particularly in children, feeling shy or uneasy in varied situations is not always a marker of social anxiety disorder. Depending on personality qualities and life experiences, people react differently to social settings and have a varied understanding of how to deal with social anxiety. Some are more outgoing by nature, while others are inherently more reserved. Unlike normal hesitation, social anxiety disorder involves fear, anxiety, and avoidance that affects relationships, daily activities, jobs, school, or other activities. This anxiety disorder can also branch out as school phobia in children over the years if not diagnosed earlier. Even though it can occasionally start in younger kids or adults, this often manifests itself in the early to mid-teens. Some social anxiety disorder symptoms are:

  • Sweat, blush, or tremble.
  • Have a rapid heartbeat.
  • May experience nausea. Feel their "mind becoming blank."
  • Possess a stiff body posture or talk in a husky tone.
  • Even when they want to, find it challenging to make eye contact, interact with strangers, or speak to people in public.
  • Feel self-conscious or partake in negative overthinking or afraid of being negatively judged by others.
  • Avoid crowded areas as they fear interactions.

Causes Of Social Anxiety Disorder

The development of social anxiety disorder is likely the result of a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors, similar to the development of many other mental health disorders. These can stop you from exhibiting the pillars of self-esteem and consequently you might not be able to conduct yourself confidently in social settings. Potential reasons include:

1. Hereditary Characteristics -

A family history of anxiety disorders can be the reason behind the repetitive dilemma of why do you feel anxious constantly in social settings. It's not fully clear, though, how much of this may be influenced by a person's genes and how much by acquired behavior.

2. Anatomy Of The Brain -


The amygdala, pronounced "ah-MIG-duh-luh," is a brain region that has a role in modulating the fear response. An elevated fear response may be present in those with a hyperactive amygdala, which can lead to higher anxiety in social situations.

3. Environment -

Some people may experience severe anxiety after being in an uncomfortable or embarrassing social situation, or another common cause is school phobia in children, suggesting that social anxiety disorder could be a learned behavior. Additionally, there may be a link between social anxiety disorder and parents who are either more controlling or overprotective of their kids or who exhibit anxious behavior in social circumstances.

How To Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety


People who need help managing their symptoms, gaining confidence, and overcoming anxiety may benefit from a variety of treatment methods. The condition may feel better or worse at different times, but without social anxiety disorder treatment, this may last the rest of one's life. Psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two are frequently advised by medical specialists. There are medically approved research-based social anxiety treatments that will help you understand how to overcome social anxiety. We'll examine these possibilities in further detail in the sections that follow.

1. Psychotherapy

People who undergo psychotherapy, often known as talking therapy, are better able to comprehend their circumstances and create useful coping mechanisms. Psychotherapy comes in a variety of forms, such as:

  • CBT
  • Interpersonal counseling
  • Psychodynamic Counseling
  • Family therapy

Treatment for SAD using CBT is widespread and the most effective social anxiety disorder treatment option. It seeks to support the individual in identifying and altering unfavorable thoughts or beliefs regarding social settings. It also seeks to alter the way in which individuals behave or respond in anxious situations. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can assist a person in realizing that their own perceptions, not those of others, can affect how they react and act. Cognitive delivered exposure, sometimes known as exposure treatment, can also be beneficial. This method allows the user to gradually build up to confronting their fears while receiving therapy and in a secure setting.

2. Medication


If your condition doesn't get better with treatment and lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe drugs to treat anxiety and depression. However, a social anxiety disorder cannot be completely treated with these drugs. They can only help you feel better and carry on with your normal activities though by reducing your social anxiety symptoms. The effects of medicine may take up to three months to take effect. Paxil, Zoloft, and Effexor XR are a few of the drugs that have been given the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval for social anxiety disorder treatment. In order to prevent side effects, your doctor may start you on a low dose and then gradually raise it.

3. Support Groups


You can get unbiased, truthful feedback about how other members of the group perceive you in a group of individuals who all have a social anxiety disorder. You will discover that your perceptions of criticism and rejection are false or warped in this manner. Additionally, you can discover social anxiety disorder treatment that is used by other people in the group to approach and get over their dread of social situations. Online and in-person support groups are both great options. However, you should exercise caution when using any advice you acquire from a support group member, and it should not take the place of medical advice about how to overcome social anxiety.

Final Words

Even though dread and anxiety are typical in social situations, you could still feel alone or like there is no way out of your current predicament. But believe us this is not true. You can conquer your social anxiety disorder with treatment and therapies which have been researched for years and have shown results if practiced the right way. Starting with natural therapies like exercise and deep breathing is a good idea. Talk to your doctor regarding prescription medication or professional anxiety disorders counseling if these don't work, though. Professionals in mental health can assist you in overcoming anxiety and improving your social skills. So stop being afraid today and conquer your phobias head-on to lead a happy and better life.


1. How common is social anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder is among the most prevalent mental health issues. Adult Americans with social anxiety disorder number over 15 million.

2. Is social anxiety a form of shyness or introversion?

No, people with social anxiety disorder have a crippling fear of being scrutinized or criticized by others in public or during performances.

3. Which expert should I speak with regarding social anxiety disorder treatment?

You ought to speak with a psychologist who can determine the severity of the illness and provide psychotherapy (CBT). They might also suggest seeing a doctor for medication

4. Is SAD curable?

Yes. The illness is very treatable. Results from cognitive-behavioral therapy have been demonstrated to be excellent. If judged required, medication may be prescribed.

5. What is the cause of social anxiety disorder?

The history of one or more embarrassing social encounters when they were younger is often mentioned by people with social anxiety. It can be hereditary as well.

People Also Read:

Tips for Interview Anxiety

How to Recover from Depression And Anxiety

Harmful Effects of Overthinking

Tips to Solve Anxiety Attack

  • Recommended

    Ms Joshna Akula

    Consultant Psychologist

    Hyderabad, India

    Available - Online

    Language: English, Hindi, Telugu

    Expertise: Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Work Stress, Job Stress, Divorce Cases, Decision Making

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