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    Social Anxiety Disorder - Symptoms

    Social anxiety disorder causes unreasonable, debilitating fear of being judged or publicly humiliated. You may avoid or severely limit encounters with other people-which can keep you from daily activities. You may develop physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, or tightness in your chest when faced with a feared social situation.

    When you have social anxiety disorder, common social situations-such as eating in public, writing in front of other people, using a public restroom, or speaking in front of others-can cause overwhelming fear and anxiety.

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    Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- Prevention

    If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may need professional help. See your doctor for a referral to a mental health specialist. Though not a treatment for anxiety disorders, the following tips can help reduce symptoms of anxiety: Take care of your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Include a multivitamin when you can't always eat right. Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption. Take time out for yourself every day. Even 20 minutes of relaxation or doing...

    Read the Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- Prevention article > >

    You may be more afraid of people noticing your anxiety than of the actual feared situation. A vicious cycle can emerge of avoiding or worrying about the social event (such as speaking in public) because you are afraid others will see you as weak, anxious, or foolish-this, in turn, leads to more anxiety. This may lead to avoiding or limiting contact with other people.

    Symptoms of social anxiety disorder may differ in adults and children. Adults and teenagers with social anxiety disorder usually recognize their fears of being publicly humiliated are unreasonable or excessive. But children who have this disorder may not.

    People with social anxiety disorder often underachieve at work or at school to avoid the attention of a promotion or to avoid being forced to participate in a group. They tend to have few friendships and have trouble dating or developing relationships. In prolonged or severe cases, many people develop other psychological conditions (such as depression or substance abuse).

    Social anxiety disorder is among several types of phobias that many people experience, such as agoraphobia or a specific phobia (fearing an object, like a spider, or a frightening situation, such as being stuck in an elevator).

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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