Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

10/08/2007

Question:

I`m sixteen years old and I have a hard time talking around most people, mainly strangers or people I haven`t known for very long. But I`m also like this around family sometimes too. I start to sweat, shake and I won`t talk or look people in the eyes. Am I just really shy? Also, sometimes I feel odd and out of place and have to leave. I`d just like to know whats going on. thanks in advance.

Answer:

There is not a clear place where "shyness" ends and "social anxiety disorder" begins.  A good question to ask yourself is whether how you feel and behave in situations with other people or in certain locations interferes with how you would like your life to be.  If the answer is yes, then I would recommend you see a mental health counselor or therapist to explore this concern more deeply.

People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.

Therapy is effective and can help a lot.  A mental health therapist, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker, can both evaluate and treat you.

Check out the web links for more information.

Good Luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati