There are many different views about people with social anxiety. Others often see people who do have it as just being shy, reserved, guarded, unfriendly, nervous, quiet, apathetic, or diffident. People who are suffering from social anxiety may be worried by these opinions as well, so they sometimes fail to seek treatment. The problem is generally unheard of; they may think that they are the only ones who suffer from it. Because social anxiety is not well understood by the general public, or medical or health care professionals, people who actually seek treatment are usually misdiagnosed, often labeled as "manic depressive", "schizophrenic", or "personality disorder".
Those with the disorder realize that worry and fear is what they are experiencing. They know that people around them are not really judging them or evaluating them constantly. They understand that everyone is not out to get them or embarrass them. But despite knowing that, they still continue to feel and believe otherwise, because of this, thoughts and symptoms of anxiety usually continue with no sign of going away.
People with social anxiety may usually experience extreme anxiety and fear when they are being introduced to other people, being teased or criticized, being the center of attention, meeting important people, being watched while doing something, having to announce something in a public situation, or making eye contact.