What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition characterised by an intense phobia of social situations. It goes beyond ‘normal’ shyness. Your everyday life is affected to the point where it becomes difficult to go to work or school and even establish relationships with others.
Considered a type of anxiety disorder, people suffering from social anxiety will commonly feel overly anxious and fearful when meeting new people or just being around people in general. In fact, it’s the fear of being judged, rejected, and humiliated that lies at the root of this particular type of anxiety.
The body’s physical response during these bouts of anxiety includes increased heart rate, tense muscles, feeling dizzy, stomach issues (including diarrhoea), and shortness of breath. People with social anxiety disorder have described feeling out of control of their bodies when this happens. As a result, it often leads to social withdrawal to avoid anxiety altogether.
Other complications of the condition include low self-esteem, poor social skills, substance abuse as a means of coping, extreme sensitivity to criticism, trouble maintaining interpersonal relationships, and low achievement rates at work or school.