Social anxiety disorder symptoms range from mild (blushing or stammering) to severe (being unable to speak in some situations) and may affect activities like:
A person with SAD will constantly worry about experiencing their social anxiety disorder symptoms, so will avoid any situation which they fear will bring about their symptoms. This intense worry can make anxiety symptoms worse, creating a vicious cycle where the anxiety feeds on itself.
Although researchers aren't sure of the causes of social anxiety disorder, the symptoms of social phobia can affect a person of any age. More women than men are afflicted with this disorder.
Social anxiety is normal for some people in social situations and in and of itself does not indicate social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety symptoms include:1
It is only once the symptoms of social anxiety become severe that social anxiety disorder may be diagnosed. If social anxiety symptoms start to impact daily functioning, that approaches the level of social anxiety disorder.
According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) the symptoms used to diagnose social anxiety disorder are the following:
The DSM-IV-TR also notes the following conditions are associated with social anxiety disorder symptoms:
Social anxiety disorder is also considered a precursor to agoraphobia where anxiety, to the level of panic, occurs when you are alone in public situations from which you would find it difficult to escape.