- Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness when faced with social situations or know that you’ll be the center of attention?
- Do you fear being judged or criticized by others?
- Are you always worried about making mistakes, looking bad or being embarrassed in front of others?
The hallmark of Social Anxiety Disorder, or SAD, is experiencing a barrage of irrational & unfounded thoughts, all centered on creating a fear of being in a social situation that will result in embarrassment, judgment or humiliation. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, ADAA, an estimated 15 million Americans struggle with Social Anxiety Disorder. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health cites that SAD tends to first appear in adolescence or early adulthood, is the third most common mental health issue & the most commonly diagnosed Anxiety Disorder. Despite being highly treatable, CBT & Exposure-Based Therapy are considered the Gold Standard when it comes to treatment, most people suffer for 10+ years before seeking treatment.
While SAD presents differently in each person, some of the most common features include:
- Going to great lengths to avoid situations that provoke anxiety or cause you to feel singled out or made the center of attention;
- Becoming physically & mentally anxious in anticipation of being watched or observed while completing a task;
- Feeling intensely uneasy meeting people in authority or speaking in a formal, public setting;
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations;
- Embarrassing easily, turning “Red”, feeling “Hot”, shakiness or racing heart are commonly reported;
- Discomfort meeting other people’s eyes or feeling that others are “staring” at you;