Panic Attack

What are some Signs of Social Anxiety?

It's common for everyone to experience anxiety, every now and then.  Whether it's being nervous for a test, cold feet over a presentation, or having anxious feelings before a major social gathering. All perfectly normal to feel a little uneasy when the situation is warranted.

However, for many individuals, the anxiety is so severe and constant, it usually ends up having dire effects on their personal and professional lives. Even for trained therapist, diagnosing someone with a more serious form of anxiety isn't easy. The line between an individual with a serious condition of anxiety, and one that expresses a specific social fear is razor thin.

The distinction is difficult at best to recognize, but most if not all social anxiety will physically manifest itself. So, there are certain signs and symptoms of social anxiety that one can sense if they are observant. Please keep in mind that these are in no way shape or form a complete or comprehensive way of determining a more severe psychological condition.

#1 Always Being Self-Concious

If you're spending hours in front of a mirror, fixing every little imperfection before even leaving the house, that is a clear sign of being self conscious stemming from social anxiety. This compulsion is more than having superficial tendencies, it's becoming so critical of one's appearance, it deeply changes their social behavior and interactions.  This makes it difficult for them to have healthy relationships, and trust others.

#2 Worrying Too Much

The hallmark sign for those living with social anxiety is being overly worrisome.  The afflicted individual will constantly worry over small and generally trivial matters.  If they're letting it seriously affect their lives on daily basis, it may very well be that they're suffering from a more serious social disorder.

#3 Having Stomach Problems

Having ongoing stomach ailments, such as cramps, constipation, diarrhea, stomach aches are indicative of a person living with a social disorder. Obviously one doesn't need to have anxiety to also experience irritable bowel syndrome. Yet, if you know a person that suffers from crippling anxiousness and has tummy issues, it's a good bet they are interconnected. This can often evolve into a vicious cycle of stomach symptoms, worrying about it, and so on, and so forth.

#4 Always Being Compulsive

Many instances, people coping with an anxiety disorder will exhibit peculiar behavioral ticks. These uncontrollable urges to fixate on something, how it's positioned, arranged, or presented, is so intense, they literally can't help themselves. Even something as keeping a particular item in a certain pocket will be of paramount importance to them.  This is known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

#5 Panic Attacks

If even the mere thought of being obligated to attend a social gathering that was months away,  the individual will obsessively worry.  They are so fearful that it renders them motionless with fear.  This scary scenario is what's known as a panic attack.  Panic attacks can trigger when the anxiety and nervousness hits an unmitigated high. The person can experience a range of symptoms, such as disorientation, dizziness, shortness of breath, increased heat rate, even fainting.

#6 Fearing the Spotlight

There are people who refuse to stand in front of an audience out of performance anxiety. This includes giving speeches, presentations and even a positive recognition for themselves. They will go as far as to keep from being noticed, even it's for something positive, such as commendations and recognitions. Fearing to be in the spotlight will undoubtedly have adverse ramifications on a person's life, cause sometimes you have to be in the spotlight.

#7 Unconventional Fear

People with overwhelming anxiety will have unconventional fears, or a rather exhibiting fears that just plain don't make much sense. Some of these irrational fears include picking the telephone, trouble ordering food from a waitress, or even a fear of having very brief and minor social interactions with acquaintances.  Displaying such a social phobia is a symptom of a much deeper anxiety disorder.

#8 Body Tension

When engaging in conversations one isn't prepared for, their jaw will clench and the muscles in their back and neck will feel sore and tense.  The difference between normal aches and pain and body tension from anxiety -- is the muscle tension from the social phobia is acute, and will more than often will subside, when the perceived uncomfortable interaction is over.

#9 Insomnia

Anxiety can have a terribly adverse affect on your sleep cycles. Staying up, mind racing and just terrified what tomorrow might bring.  It's the anticipation of the next day that ultimately keeps a person up and stressing over the future, not being able to appreciate the present. Many people coping with anxiety will have associated sleeping problems.

#10 Little to no Self-worth

Possessing qualities associated with no self-worth, possibly include feeling inferior to peers and siblings, and even self doubt that leads to atrophy of even attempting to set or achieve goals.  They feel that they are not good enough and will fail before they even begin.  These signs and symptoms are subjective, so please use good judgement in any non-medical diagnosis of any individual. There are plenty of viable ways to overcome anxiety, however it definitely won't be effortless. Thank you for reading, feel free to leave any suggestions or comments.