Social Anxiety Symptoms - Why Are People Staring at Me?

Dr. Purushothaman
September 24, 2013

"I'm scared, my hands are sweaty, and I feel as if I am going to vomit. Why are they staring at me? It must be the way I look. I bet they think I'm crazy. They are whispering to each other. I bet they notice that I am freaking out."
These are the thoughts that many people have with social anxiety symptoms. Though these are some of the thoughts they face the feelings can be extremely overwhelming. People with social anxiety or social panic have an overwhelming sense of nervousness or they are very self conscious when they are in a social situation or in the presence of people. They often have a fear of being judged, they feel embarrassed, and often times they will worry weeks in advance about something that is going to take place. Sometimes the symptoms get so bad they miss school or work, and it makes it hard to keep friends.
Many sufferers realize that their fears are extreme and some have even confronted their fears face to face, but because they don't know how to control the social anxiety symptoms and overcome them, it just keeps reappearing. Usually sufferers will worry how they were looked at hours after a social event, causing more stress.
Some of the symptoms are so broad that they can't be around any one but their family. Other symptoms could be to a singular situation like talking to someone in a high position or eating food in front of a lot of people. There have been some symptoms go as far as chest pains every time they are around people.
Often times if social anxiety symptoms continue it can lead to physical problems as well. Nausea, trying to talk, sweating profusely, shaking, and blushing are all types of physical symptoms. Physical symptoms really brings on the stress then because sufferers feel like everyone is watching them now.
About 15 million Americans have to deal with social anxiety symptoms. There are no gender boundaries when it comes to these symptoms. Most anxiety starts out in a person's early childhood but goes unnoticed until they reach adolescence. Is it genetic? Maybe. Usually the symptoms bring along other emotional rollercoasters with it like depression or alcohol and drug abuse. In more severe cases even suicide.
Though psychotherapy and medication can help treat the symptoms most of the time they cannot cure it. There has been much success to self help therapy and relaxation techniques. The biggest challenge to defeating social anxiety is finding a treatment for what you're going through. Keep your head held high; you will defeat your social anxiety.


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