Found on ADAA.org
The defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. People with social anxiety disorder may worry about acting or appearing visibly anxious (e.g., blushing, stumbling over words), or being viewed as stupid, awkward, or boring. As a result, they often avoid social or performance situations, and when a situation cannot be avoided, they experience significant anxiety and distress. Many people with social anxiety disorder also experience strong physical symptoms, such as a rapid heart rate, nausea, and sweating, and may experience full-blown attacks when confronting a feared situation. Although they recognize that their fear is excessive and unreasonable, people with social anxiety disorder often feel powerless against their anxiety.
I’ve always had social anxiety since I can remember. I’ve always feared sounding stupid in social situations, or being judged because those people don’t know me. I believe its plays a huge part in why I have a very small circle of friends, and my self-esteem. I always feel that what I’m trying to say doesn’t come out in a way people will understand, or they don’t feel like what I’m saying is important. That’s why they change the subject, or rudely talk over me like I don’t exist in their world. So I feel stupid and end the subject and let others talk, and wonder why I even went out to meet new people in the first place. I always thought it was just the way I spoke, like it didn’t translate well or because of my personality.
I found later in life it was much easier for me to talk or have conversations with people if I had alcohol in my system, or so I thought. I’m pretty sure I was loud and obnoxious and didn’t realize it because of the various shots. I’ve taken of liquid courage running through my blood stream.
I remember as a child trying to talk to my parents about anything, because I wanted to feel included in the conversations. They would tell me children should be seen not heard. No wonder why I stopped talking to them.
I even have communication and translation issues with my therapist. I feel that he gets frustrated and has to dissect what I’m trying to get out to even make sense to a normal person like himself. I know its not an intentional thing people do to make me feel embarrassed. They care what I have to say and want to make sure they have a better understanding of the point I’m trying to get across.