Social anxiety or Imposter Syndrome?

social anxiety

A study completed in 2019 found the prevalence of imposter syndrome could be anywhere from 9% and up to as high as 82%. Many people in high performing roles and industries report feeling like an imposter at work. Imposter syndrome is the phenomenon experienced by high performing individuals who experience persistent self-doubt and a fear of being found out as fraudulent. Despite its presence in everyday language, imposter syndrome is not a formal psychiatric diagnosis. 

Imposter syndrome shares a lot of similarities with social anxiety disorder. Prevalence rates of this disorder are estimated to be around 7% (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). One of the key features of this disorder is a marked fear or anxiety about being exposed to scrutiny by other people. Similarly, imposter syndrome is the fear of being scrutinised by other people. As a result of this scrutiny, people with imposter syndrome fear that they will be “found out” or “exposed” as not good enough. Likewise, people who experience social anxiety disorder have an intense fear that they will be negatively evaluated, or rejected by others.

Signs you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder

Below are 5 signs you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder:

  • Intense fear or anxiety in social situations
  • Fear of being judged, humiliated or embarrassed in social situations
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Enduring social situations with intense fear or anxiety
  • Fear or anxiety of social situations interferes with your daily life

It is important to note that experiencing some of these symptoms occasionally does not necessarily indicate a disorder. However, if these symptoms persist and begin to interfere with your daily life, it may be helpful to seek professional support. If you need support to manage any of these symptoms, contact Uplift Psychology to find out how we can help.

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