Going to Work With Social Anxiety Disorder


in Coping

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This is the third installment of the Living with Social Anxiety Disorder series. This article will focus on the behavior of a person that has social phobia at work and what they personally go through.

Working as a cashier

You work as a cashier at a large retail store or supermarket. You start your day off, but as the day goes on it gets busier. Customers start accumulating in your checkout line, you begin feeling the pressure of waiting customers, then an anxiety attack slowly but surely starts. You may start thinking that the customers are getting impatient with you because they are not be checked out fast enough. You get nervous that you’ll make a mistake such as counting the money wrong, because of the pressure of waiting customers. As a result of the anxiety you may start sweating or become confused about things you would normally do without hesitation.


While working you appear to be “quiet” or even “weird” to other coworkers because do not actively engage in conversation with other coworkers. You usually work alone because are you not comfortable with other coworkers because you think they are making judgments about you or your work methods.

A person with social anxiety disorder usually has sporatic work history which takes the form of “bouncing” from job to job; they usually have trouble finding jobs to begin with. The social anxiety disorder sufferer may take a job where they can avoid social situations they fear, as a result they may underachieve by taking a job that is lower than their personal standards. Social phobia sufferers will avoid job positions where their performance is examined frequently or where there is a lot of interaction between people. Also a great number of anxiety sufferers are found within the Internet Technology work sector. The IT field affords the person with social phobia with the ability to work alone, usually, and earn more than someone with his/her limited social skills.


People usually climb the corporate ladder through “networking”, but a person with social anxiety might find this extremely hard. Networking requires a person to contact friends to find opportunities, but a person with social anxiety finds it hard to make friends and will usually have few or no friends to begin with.


The person with social anxiety will try to avoid meetings because this is where employees usually give ideas and opinions about a particular subject. A person with social anxiety might have suggestions, but he or she might be too afraid to voice those suggestions because he or she fears being criticized. The anxiety associated with meetings maybe amplified by factors such as the number of people present.

If this article describes someone you work with or yourself, then you or that person may have social anxiety disorder. The good thing is that it is a treatable medical condition.

Related Social Anxiety Information…

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  • Shawna Davis

    I've was once diagnosed with GAD, but now (about 2 years later) I believe I may also have SAD. I've always been uncomfortable dealing with people, but it seems to be getting significantly worse as I age. Right now I'm unemployed...I left a job that was perfect for me to accompany my military husband overseas. I'm now tring to do volunteer work to keep my resume active, but I find that the prospect of doing anything that involves dealing with the public triggers a panic attack. I'm wondering how in the world I will ever find a job again once we get back to the States!

  • Irina Antonova

    I've been in a management position for three years now, I not doing a good job and I am feeling awful. Unfortunately there is no one else that has the needed qualifications. I thought as the time went on I will get used to it, get better at talking, etc but I feel more than ever that this isn't for me so I started learning programming. I like being around people actually but not if I am at the center of attention and not if they are around my age.

  • Madrina Stover

    Omg this is all me...and I'm considering freelance writing because of it. I actually do enjoy writing, but I still feel like I'm giving up.

  • Irina Antonova

    Not wanting to give up was always my reason to go on with this too. I guess you could try to do both for a time and see where it will take you. It could be a new challenge rather than an escape route.
    Also, I know therapy is a good idea but I am waiting to feel enough overwhelmed so I can do this.

  • Sloan

    I have job hopped since I was 16. I can't seem to handle social situations without deep concern about what others think. I don't want my career to suffer. I want to do something meaningful with my life.

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