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People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) experience significant and chronic fear of social or performance-related situations in which there is the possibility of becoming embarrassed, rejected, or scrutinized. In these situations, people with SAD almost always experience physical symptoms of anxiety. Although they know their fear is unreasonable, they can’t seem to do anything to stop it, so they either avoid these situations altogether or get through them while feeling intense anxiety and distress. In this way, social anxiety disorder extends beyond everyday shyness and can be extremely impairing.

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