Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is the intense fear of social situations. People with social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety may be: Social anxiety disorder is much more severe than shyness. It can interfere with work, school, or other situations, as well as cause physical symptoms.

  • Causes

    The exact cause is unknown. Possible causes include:

    • Genetic factors
    • Problems with the regulation of chemicals in the brain
    • Past emotional trauma in social situations

  • Definition

    Social anxiety disorder is the intense fear of social situations.
    People with social anxiety disorder:

    • Avoid interactions with other people
    • Are extremely afraid of being judged negatively by others
    • Feel humiliated, embarrassed, and inadequate more easily than others

    Social anxiety may be:

    • Generalized to all social interactions
    • Specific to certain social situations, such as public speaking

    Social anxiety disorder is much more severe than shyness. It can interfere with work, school, or other situations, as well as cause physical symptoms.

    Physical Reactions of Anxiety
    Physical reaction anxiety
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your fears and symptoms. A physical exam may be done. You may be referred to a mental health therapist. The therapist may do a psychiatric evaluation.

  • Prevention

    There are no guidelines for preventing social anxiety disorder. But early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications, such as:

    • Drug abuse
    • Depression
    • Difficulties at school, work, or in your personal life

  • Risk Factors

    Social Anxiety Disorder is most common in adolescence and early adulthood. Factors that increase your chance for social anxiety disorder include:


    • Family history of social anxiety
    • Other psychiatric disorders (such as
      anxiety disorder
      ,
      bipolar disorder
      ,
      depression
      , or
      drug abuse
      )

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may begin in any public situation such as:

    • Being teased or criticized
    • Being the center of attention
    • Meeting new people
    • Interacting with authority figures
    • Interacting with members of the opposite sex
    • Eating, writing, or speaking in public
    • Using public toilets

    Symptoms during these social interactions may include:

    • Blushing
    • Excessive sweating
    • Trembling
    • Dry throat and mouth
    • Muscle twitches
    • Intense
      anxiety
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Lightheadness (feeling like you are going to faint)

  • Treatment

    Treatments may include: