Social Anxiety Symptoms

If you have social anxiety symptoms, you are not alone. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that nearly 15 million American adults have social anxiety.

But I want you to know that this is something you can overcome and get through -- just as I did. 

After I was attacked in my home a few years ago, I went through a terrible time and experienced social anxiety symptoms almost every time I went out in public. Thanks to G-d, mind power techniques and other modalities I share on this site, I am completely free  of the problem.

Social anxiety symptoms can be physical, behavioral or cognitive. In triggering situations, a person with such anxiety can go into panic. Even though they know the fear is unnecessary, they can’t fight it and so they prefer staying in their homes and away from social situations.

Physical symptoms of social anxiety

I remember one time while I was still recovering from the physical injuries of the attack, I went to a good friend's book reading event.There were only about twenty people in the room and everyone was very nice. But I had gone through a lot of trauma and my anxiety level was uncontrolled.

Suddenly I began sweating, my heart started to palpitate, and my mouth went dry. It took every ounce of self control I had not to run for the door. At 56 years old, it was the first time  I ever experienced a panic attack.  Hopefully it will be the last!

Physical symptoms of social anxiety include sweating, shivering, blushing, shaking, tensed muscles, shaky voice, hyperventilation, chest ache, blurry vision, tight throat, dry mouth, nausea, headaches, dizziness,and palpitations. It is not uncommon for physical symptoms to escalate and turn into a panic attack.

Behavioral Social Anxiety Symptoms

Often you can tell if a person has social anxiety from their behavior. With close observation, you will see that most of their decisions are based on their fear of socialization.

Instead of making choices based on preference or goals, they do so based on fear. For example, a person with social anxiety might have a lovely voice and passion for music but will never join the choir or go to the studio because of the attention it might bring them. Or you might realize that they never celebrate their birthdays to avoid being the center of attention.

 Some specific behavioral symptoms of social anxiety are:

  • Quietness: People with social anxiety often remain quiet when in public to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
  • Isolation: People with social anxiety avoid events with lots of people and would rather be alone.
  • Non-participation: They refuse to participate in most activities and when they do, they barely contribute publicly.
  • Quick exit: You may notice that the moment a place gets too rowdy or loud, they quickly leave.

Cognitive Social Anxiety Symptoms

A person with cognitive symptoms will be disturbed by different negative thoughts when they are to go out in public or address a crowd. These symptoms affect a person’s thought pattern and trigger self-doubt.

Cognitive symptoms include:

  • Underestimating oneself: The individual may downplay his or her abilities/skills and emphasize on the abilities of other people to draw attention away from themselves.
  • Negative assumptions: A person in this condition will always assume something bad will take place when they step out in public or address a crowd. That is, they assume that they will embarrass themselves terribly in public. For example, someone invites them to a party and they start thinking, “What if I trip over someone and fall in the middle of the room?” or “What if someone says something to me and I reply with something dumb?” These negative thoughts escalate and then they eventually decline the invitation and stay home.
  • Low self-esteem: A person with social anxiety may have low self-esteem when in a group of people. They believe they aren’t as smart or cool as everyone else because of the anxiety they suffer when they become the center of attention.

If you have any of these symptoms mentioned above, ensure you get the help you need as soon as possible.

The first step I would recommend is to listen to this relaxation audio once a day for the next thirty days. 

You might also consider learning some self-help strategies which you can find here.

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