What is social phobia?
Social phobia is an anxiety disorder in which a person has significant anxiety and
discomfort related to a fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, or scorned by others
in social or performance situations. Even when they manage to confront this fear,
people with social phobia usually:
Feel very anxious before the event or outing
Feel intensely uncomfortable throughout the event or outing
Have lingering unpleasant feelings after the event or outing
Social phobia often happens with the following:
What are the characteristics of social phobia?
Although this disorder is often thought of as shyness, they are not the same. Shy
people can be very uneasy around others, but they don't have the extreme anxiety in
anticipating a social situation. Also, they don't necessarily avoid circumstances
that make them feel self-conscious. In contrast, people with social phobia are not
necessarily shy at all, but can be completely at ease with some people most of the
Most people with social phobia will try to avoid situations that cause distress.
Diagnosing social phobia
Social phobia is diagnosed when the fear or avoidance significantly interferes with
normal, routines, or is excessively upsetting.
Social phobia disrupts normal life, interfering with career or social relationships.
It often runs in families and may be happen along with depression or alcoholism. Social
phobia often starts in early adolescence or even younger.
Treatment for social phobia
People with social phobia often find relief when treated with cognitive-behavioral
therapy, medicine, or a mix of both.