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Do I Have Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety Self Test

Table of Contents

Are you wondering if you have a social anxiety disorder? Have you ever tried taking a social anxiety test?  This is a great place to start!

Social Anxiety Disorder affects about 12% of people at some point in their lives. People with social anxiety may struggle with various social situations. These can include making friends, building a career, finding a partner, and many other daily life activities.

Social anxiety can manifest itself in several different ways including physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. Social anxiety is also prevalent in any age group and often emerges during the teenage years.

Seeking out a doctor or specialist is also a great idea if you are wondering if you have social anxiety. They will be able to give you a diagnosis and guide you through treatment.

We are committed to helping you with your mental health needs.  By taking a look at some of your feelings and experiences, this social anxiety test can be a good start on your journey.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of social anxiety when talking to your doctor and the types of treatment that are available.

Try Our Free Social Anxiety Self-Test

This test is not a diagnostic tool, nor is it intended to replace a proper diagnosis. Use it only for informational purposes. Mental health conditions should only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional or doctor. Regardless of your results from our assessment, you should speak to a doctor about your mental health.

Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is more than feeling shy or uncomfortable in social situations. People’s comfort levels may vary depending on personality traits and their experiences. However, these are not the same as social anxiety.

Instead of nervousness, social anxiety disorder refers to fear, anxiety, and avoidance. These feelings interfere with one’s daily tasks, work, and school activities. Social anxiety is also likely to start in the teenage years. However, it can start in young children and adults as well.

There is a wide range of symptoms that you may experience if you have social anxiety. These range from emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

Someone with social anxiety may blush easily. When they have a conversation with somebody, their face may heat up due to the confrontation. They may also have a fast heartbeat because they are anxious. This may last from before the event until long after the event is over.

The person may also start trembling. Due to being anxious, they may not be able to stop moving or fidgeting. The person may also start to sweat, which is connected to blushing and the increase in body temperature.

People with social anxiety may also experience an upset stomach or nausea in a social situation. They may be so anxious that their stomach ties itself into knots and makes them feel ill until the situation has passed.

They may also start to breathe quickly, which can result in dizziness or lightheadedness. They may also have trouble catching their breath. Muscle tension can increase the feeling of anxiety as well.

This can also lead to feeling that their mind has gone blank. They may stand up to give a presentation and completely forget about what they were going to say because they are so anxious.

Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms

One thing that people with social anxiety may deal with is the fear that other people will judge them for their actions. This can include talking in front of a crowd or having a one-on-one conversation with somebody. It also can be about things that seem small, such as standing up during a meeting to throw away something or ordering a coffee.

Another common symptom is worrying about embarrassing oneself in public. This can connect to the previous point because the person may worry about making a mistake in front of other people. This can include stumbling over their words as they order food and saying something unintentional to a colleague.

People with social anxiety may also have intense fear about talking with strangers. They may feel more comfortable when having conversations with people that they are close to. This can include their family and friends since meeting new people can seem uncomfortable.

Those with social anxiety may also worry that other people will notice that they are anxious. For example, if their hands are sweating, they may worry about shaking someone else’s hand. They may also worry that their face is turning red during a speech.

These fears can lead them to avoid certain social situations. People may stop ordering food in person and only order food online, so they do not have to talk to anybody. They also may not go to parties or celebrations because they do not want to talk to strangers. Another example is avoiding situations where they would be the center of attention, such as giving a speech.

If they choose to attend social situations, they are likely to feel intense fear or anxiety. Their voice may tremble or their voice may shake while they are talking to somebody. They are also likely to have anxiety before engaging in these activities. They may stay up all night worrying about the meeting they have tomorrow or the birthday party they have to go to over the weekend.

People with social anxiety may also spend a lot of time after the situation analyzing it. They will often consider their flaws in the interaction and feel bad about how the conversation went. For example, if they said the wrong word while ordering a coffee, they may spend the rest of the day thinking about how it went wrong.

Lastly, those with social anxiety are likely to expect the worst from a negative experience. For example, if they stumble over their words while giving a speech during class, they may expect to receive a failing grade. They also may assume that they did a terrible job, regardless of what grade they get.

What Does Social Anxiety Look Like In Each Age Group?

Social anxiety can look different in each age group. If you are looking for a social anxiety test for teens, this is a great place to start.

Children

Young children with social anxiety may be very self-conscious about how they look. There are two ways that this may appear, which are seen in performance and socializing. Children may have trouble with performing in situations like sports try-outs or speaking in public. They may also fear social situations, such as using public restrooms and meeting new people.

Teenagers

Social Anxiety Disorder affects about 5% of children and teenagers and often develops around 13 years old. There are also a few signs to look for. These include sudden avoidance of social situations, reluctance to go to school,  difficulties with making new friends, and many more.

Adults

Social anxiety presents in adults as it does in teens. The person may experience uncomfortable feelings in social situations and avoid them to prevent this. Some of the signs to look for are enduring anxiety in the workplace, having a difficult time making friends, and worrying about humiliating themself. These signs can be prevalent at any point during adulthood.
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When Is It Just Shyness?

At this point, you may be wondering “do I have social anxiety, or am I just shy“? This is a very common question to ask because they may seem similar at first glance. However, there are many differences, so let’s take a look at the distinctions.

Impairment of Functioning

People with Social Anxiety Disorder are likely to experience difficulty in doing basic tasks. People who are shy do not experience this to the same degree. While some of these tasks may seem simple, they do not feel easy to people with social anxiety.

For example, people with social anxiety may have trouble asking to go to the bathroom during class. They may worry about having to speak up during a lecture, so they keep it to themselves. As a result, they may struggle to function in these environments and communicate with others when it is necessary.

Intensity of the Fear

High levels of intensity mean that the person is likely experiencing anxiety. Shyness is not as extreme and does not include intense reactions. Those with anxiety may worry so much about an event that they will think about it for weeks before and after it happens.

An example of this is giving a speech. Shy people may have trouble standing in front of the crowd and speaking. On the other hand, people with social anxiety may stay up all night worrying about it weeks ahead of time. They also may also experience shortness of breath, shaking, and sweating.

Level of Avoidance

People with social anxiety may avoid certain situations because of fear or embarrassment. Shy people do not do this. Shy people also may grow out of their shyness as they age. This is seen in how many children are shy when they are young and come out of their shells as they grow up.

An example of this is meeting new people. Shy people may struggle to start a conversation or feel natural while talking to strangers. People with social anxiety may have a physical reaction, such as sweating or blushing. They also may avoid meeting new people because they do not want to be embarrassed.

When to Talk to Someone About Your Social Anxiety Test

Before jumping to any conclusions, it is important to talk to a professional about your symptoms. You may be referred to a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or a counselor. They will be able to help you find the best treatment options for you.

The first step of this process is to have a diagnosis made. A mental health specialist will usually be the person to make this diagnosis. Going forward, they can work with you to find treatment options.

A social anxiety test may be performed along with gathering your mental health history. This will help make sure that your symptoms are not caused by an unknown physical problem. Here are some things to watch out for.

Treatment Options for Social Anxiety

There are a few treatments that you can pursue social anxiety and are often treated with psychotherapy or medication, or both.

Psychotherapy

The main type of psychotherapy that is used for social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the patient to explore new ways of thinking and behaving. As a result, they can learn how to feel less anxious in social situations.

The main goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to identify the harmful beliefs that the patient has. As a result, they can replace them with positive thoughts and emotions. This can help the patient to have higher self-esteem, identify misperceptions, and learn to be more assertive.

This type of therapy also helps people to relax. They are likely to have more hope about improving, which gives them the space to heal at their own pace. This helps them to develop a rational thought process under the guidance of a professional who will not judge them.

Support Groups

Therapy can also occur in a group format. Support groups help people to talk about their feelings and experiences in a nonjudgmental environment. The group will consist of many people who have Social Anxiety Disorder.

This type of treatment helps people to feel less alone. They will meet other people who have the same struggles as them. This leads them to improve their coping skills alongside others who understand what they are going through.

The people involved can also talk openly about their feelings. Since everyone in the group understands what it is like to have social anxiety, they can help each other to improve. This gives them a sense of community and acceptance when they are together.

Medication

There are three main kinds of medication that are prescribed to people with Social Anxiety Disorder. These are anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Anti-anxiety medication can eliminate anxious emotions quickly. However, they are often not taken for a long time. The body can adapt to them, which leads to needing a higher dose as time goes on. This type of medication is useful when taken in conjunction with going to therapy.

Antidepressants are used for depression, but they can also help with the symptoms of social anxiety. They can take several weeks to start working, but they can be taken over a long period of time. This can help the individual in social situations throughout their life.

Beta-blockers are used to help people cope with the physical symptoms of anxiety. For example, they can lessen the effects of a rapid heart rate, sweating, or trembling. This is a great option for people who struggle with performance anxiety.

How to Choose

You can work with a mental health professional to find the best treatment option for you. They will help you to choose the best doctor or help you have a conversation with your current doctor about medication options. They can also help you to find the best combination of these choices.

Do not give up on treatment too quickly! They take some time to work, but the effects will be worth the effort that you put into it.

When Happens When It Is Left Untreated

If social anxiety is not treated, it can interfere with your daily activities, relationships, and happiness.

People with social anxiety may have low self-esteem. Due to many uncomfortable social encounters, they may feel inadequate or unworthy. As a result, this can lead them to think lowly of themselves and their abilities.

Having low self-esteem can lead to negative self-talk. They may tell themselves that they are not capable of performing certain tasks.

This can also make it difficult to be assertive. People with social anxiety may struggle to stand up to other people, which can be a problem in many environments. If left untreated, social anxiety can inhibit their ability to be a self-starter.

They may also have hypersensitivity to criticism. Since they may already think poorly of themself, hearing criticism from other people may take a blow to their self-esteem. As a result, they may avoid hearing criticism or respond poorly if they receive any.

Those with social anxiety may also push themselves into isolation. Due to the difficulty of social relationships, they may feel that it is easier to have no relationships at all. However, this results in loneliness and poor mental health.

People with social anxiety may also have low academic and employment achievement. While low self-esteem can play a role in this, social anxiety can inhibit their ability to effectively communicate with colleagues and peers. As a result, they may not be able to get as much work done as they hope.

Social anxiety can also be harmful to one’s mental health. Due to thinking lowly about oneself, they may be prone to substance abuse or suicide attempts. People with social anxiety are likely to have depression as well. This can result in drinking too much or self-harming.

Get Help Today with Steps For Change

Social anxiety is a struggle for people around the world. It can prevent you from doing the things that you would like to do. By inhibiting your abilities, it can make your life harder.

We encourage you to take a look at our quiz about social anxiety. It can help you to identify your symptoms and experiences to give you a better idea of how you are feeling.

Our quiz can also help you to find out if you may have Social Anxiety Disorder. If you do, you can talk to one of our mental health providers about possible treatments. We are here to help you in any way that we can.

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