top of page

Social Anxiety

SNOMED Terms
 

 

  • Avoidant personality disorder

  • Body dysmorphic disorder

  • Paranoid personality disorder

  • Schizotypal personality disorder

Goals
 

  • Interact socially without undue fear or anxiety.

  • Participate in social performance requirements without undue fear or anxiety.

  • Develop the essential social skills that will enhance the quality of relationship life.

  • Develop the ability to form relationships that will enhance recovery support system.

  • Reach a personal balance between solitary time and interpersonal interaction with others.

Behavioral Definitions
 

  • Overall pattern of social anxiety, shyness, or timidity that presents itself in most social situations.

  • Hypersensitivity to the criticism or disapproval of others.

  • No close friends or confidants outside of first-degree relatives.

  • Avoidance of situations that require a degree of interpersonal contact.

  • Reluctant involvement in social situations out of fear of saying or doing something foolish or of becoming emotional in front of others.

  • Debilitating performance anxiety and/or avoidance of required social performance demands.

  • Increased heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, muscle tension, and shakiness in social situations.

Diagnoses
 

  • Social Phobia

  • Dysthymic Disorder

  • Major Depressive Disorder

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder

  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Effects of Social Anxiety

Here are some of the common effects of social anxiety:

Emotional effects
 

  • Fear of being judged, scrutinized, or rejected by others

  • Feeling of humiliation or embarrassment

  • Intense self-consciousness

  • Loneliness and isolation

  • Low self-esteem and depression

 

Physical effects
 

  • Blushing, sweating, trembling, or shaking

  • Difficulty breathing or rapid heart rate

  • Nausea or dizziness

  • Muscle tension or headaches

  • Difficulty speaking or feeling like your mind has gone blank

 

Behavioral effects

  • Avoiding social situations or public places

  • Limiting work or school opportunities

  • Difficulty making friends or dating

  • Difficulty speaking up in class or at work

It's important to note that social anxiety is a treatable condition, and various therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and medications, can help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. 

How does Social Anxiety affect your life?

Here are some ways in which social anxiety can affect an individual's life:

Interpersonal Relationships: Individuals may struggle to make friends, attend social gatherings, or engage in romantic relationships due to fear of judgment or rejection.

Academic and Career Performance: Individuals may avoid participating in class discussions, giving presentations, or networking opportunities, which can hinder academic achievement and limit career advancement.

Physical Health: Social anxiety can contribute to physical health problems such as muscle tension, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and sleep disturbances. 

Emotional Well-being: Individuals may experience constant worry about being judged or criticized by others, leading to heightened levels of stress and emotional distress.

Quality of Life: Social anxiety can significantly reduce overall quality of life by limiting participation in social activities, leisure pursuits, and opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment. 

Impact on Daily Functioning: Social anxiety can interfere with everyday activities such as running errands, attending appointments, or making phone calls. 

Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders: Social anxiety often coexists with other mental health conditions such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or panic disorder, further complicating the treatment and management of symptoms. 

Social Support and Relationships: Social anxiety can strain relationships with family members and friends, as individuals may withdraw from social activities or decline invitations to social gatherings. 

bottom of page