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It is common to feel nervous in social situations, but people with social anxiety disorder feel extreme dread and anxiety that affects many areas of their lives. This chronic condition affects millions of people around the world. While the symptoms are serious, treatments can help those with social anxiety disorder cope with or overcome their condition.

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1. Cognitive Effects

People with social anxiety disorder feel dread when participating in or thinking about social situations. Feeling overly self-conscious is common, as is having standards for themselves that other individuals would view as unreasonable. Those with social anxiety tend to imagine how a conversation could go and envision answers for each possible issue. Once a social situation has ended, they may feel as though they “performed” poorly. Even neutral or ambiguous conversations may feel negative to a person with the disorder.

child social anxiety group HRAUN / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.