Stage fright

Stage fright is characterized by anxiety, fear or even terror of public speaking or performing in front of an audience. It is a very common social phobia, but is possible to overcome with the right therapy and treatment.


Appotek can help diagnose and treat stage fright by referring you to the relevant doctors and psychologists.


Stage fright is the dread, fear or anxiety you may experience when you are the center of public attention, such as speaking or presenting in front of an audience. It is a form of social anxiety (fear of being scrutinized by other people).


Stage fright produces an anxiety reaction in anticipation of anything you have to do in front of the audience. Anxiety is a natural reaction to anything we perceive as threatening, as the body automatically prepares to protect itself from threat. It can cause physical symptoms such as:


  • laboured breathing
  • palpitations and high heart rate
  • nausea
  • nervous twitching
  • shaky hands and knees
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness.


Anxiety can develop several weeks in advance of a dreaded event and increase as the event nears. These mental symptoms include:


  • concentration difficulties
  • feeling of inferiority
  • fear of forgetting what to say
  • reiterating and obsessing over every detail of your last performance, usually in a very self-critical and negative way. This often leads to more anxiety about similar situations in the future.

Prevention and Protection

Stage fright is a fear. A fear that can be understood and conquered. The first step is to challenge the fear. To admit to yourself that you are scared and worried – but that you are good enough. You need to learn how to deal with your negative thoughts and perceptions about speaking or appearing in front of a group.


You can be helped by:


  • doing relaxation exercises
  • exercising or taking a walk before your performance
  • releasing negative thoughts and thinking more realistically 
  • consulting with a psychologist
  • being yourself
  • being well prepared.


СBT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, is a form of treatment that has a good and lasting effect on, among other things, stage fright. CBT is about becoming aware of negative thoughts and correcting them in order to interpret events more realistically. Sometimes there is a need for prescription medicines for heart palpitations and extreme anxiety.

When to consult a doctor

Seek help if your stage fright presents problems in every day or working life.

How APPOTEK can help

  • Consultations
  • Psychological treatment
  • Individual doctor assessment and prescriptions if necessary

Vadym Diadiun, Doctor of Medicine, M.D.