It’s normal to feel nervous in some social situations. For example, going on a date or giving a presentation may cause that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. But in social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions cause significant anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because you fear being scrutinized or judged negatively by others. Can you imagine that when you blush, your stomach lining also reddens? In social anxiety disorder, fear and anxiety lead to avoidance that can disrupt your life. Severe stress can affect your relationships, daily routines, work, school, or other activities. Social anxiety disorder can be a chronic mental health condition but learning coping skills in psychotherapy and taking medications can help you gain confidence and improve your ability to interact with others.
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