What are the signs and symptoms of social phobia?
Common symptoms of social anxiety include physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms that can be particularly distressing for people with social phobia include:
- excessive perspiration
- blushing or stammering when trying to speak
- nausea or diarrhoea.
These physical symptoms often cause further anxiety as the person fears others will notice – even though these signs are usually barely noticeable to those around them.
People with social phobia also worry excessively that they will do or say the wrong thing and that something terrible will happen as a result.
People with social phobia try to avoid situations where they fear acting in a way that's humiliating or embarrassing. If avoidance isn't possible, they endure the situation but can become extremely anxious and distressed and may try to leave the situation as soon as they can. This can have a serious negative effect on their personal relationships, professional lives and ability to go about their daily routine.
A diagnosis of social phobia is based on having the typical symptoms, which cause significant distress or impairment of day-to-day functioning, and the symptoms are persistent for example at least six months.