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Social Anxiety

Definition

Social anxiety, as the term implies, refers to anxiety (a feeling of emotional distress akin to fear or panic) experienced in interpersonal situations, such as job interviews, dates, public presentations, or casual social gatherings. Because of the variety of situations in which people experience social anxiety, several specific types of social anxiety have been investigated in the literature, including public speaking anxiety, audience anxiety, stage fright, sport performance anxiety, and physique anxiety, to name a few. Regardless of the specific situation in which social anxiety occurs, the physical and psychological feelings that accompany social anxiety are common to all: butterflies in the stomach, increased heart rate, lightheadedness, sweaty palms, and fear.

Background and History

Although everyone experiences social anxiety from time to time, some people experience debilitating ...

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