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Do These Feelings That Social Anxiety Causes Sound Familiar?

Social anxiety is a disorder that causes people to feel judged and scrutinized in social situations. As a result, people with the condition often avoid social situations out of a fear that they will humiliate themselves.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, millions of people suffer from social anxiety disorder and most of them begin experiencing symptoms during their teen years.

However, many of them go years without a diagnosis. Treatment is available for the disorder, so anyone who feels they have social anxiety should see a mental health professional for help. If you ever experience any of these feelings, you could suffer from social anxiety.

1. You feel misunderstood.
Unfortunately, people who don’t have social anxiety have a very hard time understanding how it feels. People who do have the disorder often feel misunderstood and have a hard time getting people to fully grasp what they feel and what they are going through.

There are some great therapists who are able to adequately treat social anxiety, so there is hope and help out there if you can muster the courage to seek it out. Being misunderstood is never a good feeling, so finding help is imperative.

2. Your life isn’t “normal”.
Everyone’s life is different, but in general, people enjoy time spent with friends, going out to eat, interacting with co-workers, meeting new people and dating. For those with social anxiety disorder, life doesn’t often follow these lines.

Because you are fearful of embarrassing yourself, you have a hard time enjoying social situations and you avoid them when you can. Social anxiety can certainly interfere with your life and make it hard to make new friends or have romantic relationships. You may feel lonely and isolated.

3. You probably feel trapped.
You want to make friends and hang out with other people, but your disorder makes it hard to do so. This cycle can cause you to feel trapped in your situation, which can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety that you’re experiencing.

This cycle goes around and around, making it impossible for you to function normally and causing your life to feel like a constant cycle. You can’t change your habits because your disorder makes it hard to do so.

4. You feel isolated.
People who don’t have social anxiety disorder don’t understand what the condition entails, so they may stop making an effort to spend time with you and could stop extending invitations because they can’t comprehend what you’re going through.

People don’t understand you and may decide to stop trying, which can make you feel alienated and isolated.

Many people with social anxiety feel safe with family members, but others also feel isolated from them. If you feel this way, it can seriously affect your mood and mental health. Getting help as soon as possible can help you immensely.

5. You feel criticized.
Having social anxiety disorder makes you more prone to feelings of being criticized and judged, even when that’s not really what’s going on. When someone offers you advice or innocently wonders why you are the way you are, you can feel very judged.

This can leave you feeling horrible for days afterward as you wonder what you could have done differently and think about how embarrassed you are now. For this reason, you may begin to avoid situations that could lead to a similar situation so that you can avoid feeling that way again in the future.

6. You’re depressed.
Anxiety and depression often go together, and people who have anxiety may be depressed due to the incredible way that it takes up all of your time and makes you feel less than perfect. You probably go over events time and time again in your head afterward and convince yourself that others are judging you and that you don’t measure up.

Even when everyone else has forgotten about the situation, you still think back to it and get yourself all worked up about everything you did wrong. Depression is nothing to ignore, so get help as soon as possible if you feel this way.

7. You worry about social situations.
Social anxiety can leave you spending inordinate amounts of time worrying about upcoming events that will require you to interact with other people. You worry that you will humiliate yourself and that worry causes more worry, creating a vicious cycle that can turn any event into a debilitating force in your life.

If you spend a lot of time concerned about events in the future, you can assume your social anxiety is interfering with a healthy life.

8. You lack confidence.
Your fear of doing something embarrassing in public has probably left you with very little self-confidence. You likely hesitate when you’re in a conversation, and you probably think twice before going anywhere or accepting an invitation.

You feel so disapproved of that you try to get out of social interactions. This drives your lack of self-confidence and keeps you from gaining any skills that can help you in the future.

9. You hate being the center of attention.
People who have social anxiety never want the spotlight to be on them and avoid being the center of attention at all costs. You hate being put on the spot and try to prevent this from happening when you’re around other people.

Public speaking or making a presentation to others can cause a lot of anxiety and fear. This can cause you to shake, stumble over your words or blush, which adds to the cycle of anxiety because you will feel judged and embarrassed in front of others.

10. You’re self-conscious.
Social anxiety can make you feel very self-conscious. You’ll feel like everyone is looking at you and judging every word and behavior they see. You spend a lot of time worrying about how you look, trying to make a good impression on those around you.

You feel like everyone is always looking at you and you worry a lot about every little thing you do when you’re in a public place. This self-consciousness can get in the way of a normal life, but treatment can really help.

Pin ItIf you feel that you could have social anxiety, it’s important to get some treatment so you can live your life and stop feeling so bad all the time. With a combination of therapy and medications, you can keep your symptoms at bay and survive social situations.

Getting treatment can also help you make friends and pursue a romantic relationship, both of which can improve your quality of life and give you a support system that can help you through the tough times. Talk to your doctor about a referral for a mental health professional and make an appointment to talk over what’s going on in your life. You’ll be so glad you did.

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Katherine Hurst
By Catherine Gordon
Catherine Gordon (PhD) has a background teaching and researching analytic philosophy. She is also a practising therapist who works with individuals and couples on issues relating to relationship difficulties, emotional well-being and self-improvement.

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