Social Anxiety Disorder

(Also Known As: Social Anxiety, Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety, Social Phobia, Anxiety Disorders)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder is a condition wherein an individual becomes extremely anxious or self-conscious in social situations. Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder have an intense, chronic, and persistent fear that they are being monitored or judged by other people. They are afraid that their actions might lead to embarrassment. Prior to a feared situation, their worries might go on for days or weeks. Due to the intensity of their fear, Social Anxiety Disorder may become a hindrance to their school, work, or daily activities and can make it difficult to maintain and keep friends.1

Although people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder recognize that their fears are excessive and illogical, most of them are unable to overcome the condition. While they can manage to overcome their fears and be able to socialize, they usually experience anxiety beforehand and may be uneasy throughout the encounter.

Social Anxiety Disorder can be limited to a particular type of situation—they can be afraid to speak in formal or informal gatherings or to eat, drink, or write in front of other people—or in its most extreme form, it can be broad and symptoms manifest themselves almost anytime they socialize with others. Social Anxiety Disorder can be so debilitating that it may prevent people from attending school or reporting for work.2

Individuals suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder usually blush, sweat profusely, tremble, feel nauseated, and have difficulty talking in social situations. People who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder usually feel that everyone is watching them. As a result, they develop fear of being with other people other than their family.

Could You Have Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Irrational Fear, Depression, Anxiety, Phobias
Avoidant Personality Disorder – Pervasive Social Inhibition, Extreme Sensitivity, Feeling of Inadequacy, Avoidance of Social Interaction
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Irrational Worry, Uncontrollable Fear, Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression
Panic Disorder – Panic Attacks, Anticipatory Attacks, Irrational Fear, Anxiety, Depression