Below are the emotional, physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of a person who has social phobia.

Emotional symptoms

  • One may feel excessively nervous in every social situation they are in.
  • Feeling intensely worried about an upcoming social situation days, weeks or even months before it happens.
  • Intense fear of being watched by people when doing something, especially when it is people you do not know.
  • Always thinking that you will do an embarrassing thing, and therefore you end up not doing it.Fear of being noticed that you are nervous

Physical symptoms

  • Having a red face and blushing.
  • Feeling nauseated, stomach upsets and feeling butterflies.
  • Having difficulty in breathing.
  • Tightness in chest and feeling like you heart stops or skips beats.
  • Hot flashes, feeling sweaty and dizzy.

Behavioral symptoms

  • Doing anything to shun social situations, even if it limits or disrupts your life.
  • Hiding in the background and keeping quiet so that you are not noticed or be embarrassed in any way.
  • Feeling the need to be accompanied by a friend in every place you are making an appearance.
  • Taking a drink of any social situations in a bid to soothe your nerves.

Can the social anxiety disorder be prevented?

It cannot be prevented completely, the reason being that not just a single characteristic contributes to it. The only way to help with it is to seek help as soon the symptoms surfaces so that treatment can be effective.The most effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication may also be encouraged to ease the symptoms and signs for the CBT to be more effective.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

The aim of CBT is to lead person’s thoughts in a more rational manner and assist them to stop avoiding social situations which caused anxiety before. Undergoing a CBT helps the person to react differently to social situations which used to trigger the anxiety symptoms.

Your therapist may conduct a systematic desensitization for you, whereby you are told to imagine a frightening situation and work through your fears in a relaxed and safe environment. Other therapists may gradually expose you to the feared situation, but provide you with the necessary support as you work through your fears.


Drugs can be taken to accompany CBT for more efficient results or depended on solely. There are several kinds of drugs that can be used to treat social phobia, including sedatives (benzodiazepines) such as Ativan, antidepressants such as Paxil, beta-blockers (used to treat heart conditions) may also be used to reduce some physical symptoms such as shaking and heart racing.