Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations in life but, for some, anxiety can become a huge burden. If anxiety is changing the way you live your life, then you could be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Social anxiety (or social phobia) is the name for anxiety that occurs during social situations. Although there is no simple social anxiety test, there are a number of recognizable symptoms and feelings that can help you to work out what you’re dealing with.
Physical Social Anxiety Symptoms
Perhaps the easiest social anxiety test is to check for physical symptoms. Those with social anxiety may experience some of the following in social situations:
* High blood pressure
* Dry mouth
* Upset stomach
* Tension in the muscles
The trouble with these symptoms is that they could also represent a number of other conditions. This is why it’s important to think about what you’re doing when you get them, and how you are feeling emotionally.
Emotional Symptoms of Social Anxiety
As a social anxiety test, doctors may ask questions about your emotions and perceptions of yourself. Many people with social phobia claim that they fear being the centre of attention, are worried that they will look stupid or say something stupid, that they can’t keep up a conversation with others or that people will see the physical symptoms as a sign of weakness. In short, these emotional symptoms can lead to extreme difficulty during social situations, and increase the desire to avoid people.
Social Anxiety Vs. Shyness
Some people believe that social anxiety and shyness are the same thing, but this isn’t necessarily true. You’ll usually find that those with the condition are excessively shy to the point where it greatly interferes with social relationships with others. Many sufferers cannot shake off the negative feeling, and end up avoiding people as a result. Being shy, however, does not necessarily indicate social anxiety. Shyness can be a normal part of your personality, and doesn’t mean you will end up with social anxiety one day.
When to Seek Help
The fact that there is no certain social anxiety test may put some people off asking for help, for fear that they will be told there is nothing medically wrong with them. However, mental health issues such as social anxiety are gaining more and more recognition every day, and there are treatments available to you. It’s important that you talk to your doctor about what can be done to help both the physical and mental symptoms. You can be sure of one thing – there is help available for social anxiety.