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Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) symptoms differ from person to person. Some may have only a few, while others have many.

People with SAD may stay away from social settings or public places because they fear:

  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Meeting or talking to new people
  • Meeting or talking to people who may be in charge
  • Eating, writing, or speaking in public
  • Using public toilets

In social events people may have:

  • Blushing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Problems making eye contact

These symptoms can make fears worse. This can lead to panic attacks. Over time, the person may stay away from areas where a panic attack happened.


  • Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115906/Social-anxiety-disorder. Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed February 27, 2019.
  • Social anxiety disorder: More than just shyness. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness/index.shtml. Accessed February 27, 2019.
  • Social phobia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/anxiety-and-stressor-related-disorders/social-phobia. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 27, 2019.


  • Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.