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What are the symptoms of performance anxiety?

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Performance anxiety, also known as stage fright, is the extreme fear of being scrutinized when performing in front of others, such as giving a speech, singing, acting, or playing music. When you have performance anxiety, you are fearful that you will be scrutinized by others if you act or look a certain way. You are also worried that people will judge you or make fun of you if you show anxiety symptoms.

The common anxiety symptoms that show up with performance anxiety include blushing, trembling, voice quivering, stumbling on your words, sweating, or staring. You may also get anticipatory anxiety, where you constantly worry and are fearful of the upcoming performance days or weeks in advance. The fear and anxiety are so great that you may just avoid performing altogether.

And if you do decide to actually perform, then your anxiety may become so intensely triggered that you might develop a full-blown panic attack.

The following video further explains how performance anxiety develops, and what you can do to address it:

answered Feb 2, 2016 by drcarlo (294,430 points)
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