Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – Key Signs of Anxiety

A phobia or fear of social interaction is known as social anxiety disorder. Given below are some of the key signs of anxiety noticed in people suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Fear of Being Observed and Analyzed

This is the single most frightening point in people suffering from SAD. This fear is so overwhelming that such people try to avoid social interactions at any cost and even try to escape from situations where they may become the centre of attraction. They fear that their every move is being carefully analyzed and graded. This fear is very strong. If they hear someone laughing, they immediately feel that ‘they’ are being laughed at. This fear hinders and inhibits their social interaction. Since there is a fear of being analyzed, they try to put forth their best behaviour when forced to be with a group of people. They may be over courteous sometimes to the delight of their partners which can make them more interesting to some people. But this is the kind of situation that such people dread and try to avoid.

Excessively Worrying About Social Situations

People who suffer from SAD worry about what others might think about them. Before doing anything they go over and over the situation, analyzing everything in minute detail. They analyze how they should dress, behave, interact and what they should say. They even adopt postures or actions to hide their fear. They may clasp their hands together to hide trembling or shaking. They would avoid shaking hands if they have sweaty palms. These are the key signs of anxiety in people suffering from social phobia. Even after the situation has passed these people scrutinize it in the minutest detail, seeking out supposed instances where they would have made mistakes or would have shown themselves to be a complete idiot.

Signs of Anxiety

The people who are suffering from SAD feel scared when they have to be among people. When among a group of people, they constantly look around to see if they are being watched or not. This action draws attention of those around who then find it a curious form of behavior. This may scare the affected person so much that he may find some excuse to get out of the place. When around people they may become so uncomfortable that they may get into a fight or flight situation. Due to this they are often mistaken as being withdrawn or recluse. Public speaking is very frightening situation for these people and they try their best to avoid it.

Excessive Self Analysis

People who suffer from SAD are constantly comparing themselves with others. They set unrealistic standards and try their best to achieve it. They analyze how others behave and try to copy that behavior. But they fail no matter how hard they try, which only raises their frustration. The self analysis behavior causes them to identify each situation that can put them into an embarrassment. People suffering with SAD fear getting into a situation where they may not know what to say. To avoid such an embarrassment they repeatedly plan and practice what they are going to say to others. The self analysis factor is extraordinarily strong for which they take extreme care even among complete strangers who may not bother them at all.

The above points illustrate three key symptoms of anxiety observed in people suffering from social anxiety disorder. To overcome this development deficit it is important that they reduce their self criticism and learn to live life as it comes.