Symptoms of social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, include cognitive, behavioral, and physiological. Cognitive aspects of SAD reveal much about the experience of feeling dread regarding how one will be presented to others.
A person with SAD will become overly self-conscious and create high performance standards specific to his or her goals. A sufferer of social anxiety disorder will create a well-mannered impression towards others, review what could go wrong at a social situation, and believe that their efforts were not successful post event.
Cognitive distortions are specific to SAD and are the subject of concern in cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions. A sufferer of SAD has self-defeating thoughts that are inaccurate.
With respect to behavioral aspects, social anxiety disorder sufferers have a fear of being in social situations where they may feel embarrassed or judged by others.
Examples of feared activities include small groups, dating, and talking to strangers. Individuals are typically nervous in the presence of people with authority; they also feel uncomfortable with people they don’t know and act distant with large groups of people. Sufferers of SAD tend to avoid eye contact.
Lastly, physiological aspects of social anxiety disorder are often present in social phobics. Tears, excessive sweating, nausea, difficulty breathing, and palpitations are examples of physiological effects.
In addition, blushing is commonly exhibited by individuals suffering with a social anxiety disorder. These visible symptoms continue to reinforce the anxiety.