Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Erma in Detroit. How do you know if you have social anxiety or some other type of anxiety?
If you’re concerned you may have an anxiety problem, this is a good question to ask. Everybody experiences anxiousness, fear, and worry at one point or another in our lives. This reaction is normal in the face of stressful or negative life circumstances. However, even during the most challenging times in one’s life, the physiological and emotional symptoms of anxiety are usually not pervasive in other areas, enabling you to continue functioning in your everyday life. However, when your feelings of anxiety are no longer just a reaction to problems in your life but are instead becoming the cause of problems and disrupting your quality of life, you may benefit from seeking professional help.
The first step in dealing with anxiety disorder is to determine what type of anxiety you have and how it affects you. If you suspect you have social anxiety, it may be that your symptoms of anxiety are triggered by social situations such as speaking in front of groups of people, meeting new people, or addressing people in roles of authority.
Feeling shy or nervous in these situations is not unnatural, but when these feelings become so intense that it spirals into a perpetual cycle of fear of encountering these situations to avoidance of social situations that might lead to feelings of anxiety, and then it becomes a social anxiety disorder. It is this avoidance of functioning in social situations that distinguishes social anxiety from other types of anxiety.