Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterised by extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in everyday social or performance situations. Feeling uncomfortable or nervous in social situations is something that everyone might experience at some time in their life. However, some people feel so much fear and anxiety that they avoid social situations altogether. For someone with social anxiety disorder, many different situations that involve social interactions can be extremely stressful.

Everyday activities, such as making small talk, eating or drinking in public, meeting people, or even going to school or work, all become overwhelming.

Signs of social anxiety disorder include:

  • feeling anxious in social situations (physical symptoms include racing heart, sweating, queasy stomach, dizziness, shortness of breath)
  • feeling pressure to do things ‘right’ in social situations
  • feeling self-conscious around others
  • worrying that others will notice your anxiety
  • replaying how you acted in a social situation over and over again in your mind afterwards
  • not doing things you want to do because of feeling anxious