Is stage fright the same as social anxiety disorder?

Specialized treatment of anxiety disorders with hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin
Psychotherapy in Berlin - Specialization: Fears and Anxiety Disorders

Is stage fright the same as social anxiety disorder?


A bit of anxiety in front of an audience is a common experience but severe stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, can be diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder if a number of criteria are met. For example, in case you nearly always experience physical symptoms in the feared situation, and the fear severely impacts your daily functioning.

Usually, stage fright is diagnosed with specific social anxiety disorder rather than generalized social anxiety disorder because it is a fear of only one or a few specific social or performance situations. Good news: Specific social anxiety disorder is generally more easily overcome than generalized social anxiety disorder because it is usually less severe and less chronic.

In some cases, stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, may be a part of a larger pattern of social phobia or social anxiety disorder, but many people experience stage fright without any wider problems.




How to overcome stage fright


Learning to improve your speaking or performance skills is good, but it’s generally not enough to substantially reduce your fear of public speaking. You have to address and revise any negative perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, images, and predictions related to public speaking or performing. And it’s often helpful to uncover the deeper fears related to being seen and heard by others, showing vulnerability, and is considered less than perfect. Learning to accept yourself and not feeling that you have to prove yourself to others is at the root of healing.

I recommend that you learn skills to reduce and manage your fear and anxiety and not resort to using medication alone. It’s also critical to learn techniques to stop the cycle of avoiding fearful situations. Avoidance may give you immediate relief, but it reinforces your fear in the long run. Avoidance is what stabilizes a phobia.

If you are willing to stop avoiding your fears and learn new skills to reduce and manage them, I will help you to develop an empowering belief and trust in yourself. In facing your fear, it becomes possible to overcome intense stage fright and performance anxiety and to find comfort and ease in expressing yourself in front of others.

Be sure to read the following notice


Before contacting me, please read the detailed information on fees, booking, contraindications of hypnotherapy, and the answers to other common questions (FAQ). I would be happy to discuss your specific needs with you in a free preliminary telephone consultation.

These pages are intended to provide information to those interested in psychotherapy with hypnotherapy. They are neither intended to replace psychotherapy nor a personal consultation, examination, or diagnosis by a licensed physician. I am not a medical doctor. I am specialized to help people with fears and anxiety disorders. The profession of a hypnotherapist (official permission to practice psychotherapy according to the HPG) is fundamentally different from the practice of a medical doctor. Medical diagnoses are not made, nor are promises of healing made or medications prescribed. A medical or psychiatric intervention, if necessary, is not to be replaced by hypnotherapeutic treatment under any circumstances.

If you have questions about psychotherapy with hypnosis, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to inform you.



Do you know my kind of fear?

Do you know my kind of fear?

Sometimes I get telephone calls or emails with the question if I have heard about this specific type of fear before. Most of the time I can say „Yes!“ and other times I am surprised. Truth is that the list of fears and phobias is endless.

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How to overcome stage fright

How to overcome stage fright

If you have stage fright, then you may start to feel nervous, shaky, or even completely debilitated at the thought of performing in front of an audience. Learn more about how hypnosis, hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ can help you.

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Published: March 12, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 15, 2023
Translation: August 23, 2019
German version:
AN: #132

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