Social Anxiety Disorder is an intense fear of social situations that could result in negative judgments by other people. Situations that may cause anxiety for people with this disorder include meeting new people, starting a conversation, and eating or drinking in front of others. While many people feel worried in some social situations, when someone has Social Anxiety Disorder, the anxiety is very strong, and may lead to avoiding situations that cause anxiety, or experiencing very high anxiety during them. Often after a social situation has ended, a person with Social Anxiety Disorder will replay the situation over and over in their minds, thinking about all the possible ways they might have embarrassed themselves.
Other common situations that people with Social Anxiety Disorder may find difficult include:
- Being the centre of attention
- Being assertive
- Being watched by others
- Dealing with people in authority
- Calling someone who isn’t known to the person
- Speaking up at a meeting
- Entering a room when others are already seated.