Editorial Staff and Contributors
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.
The exact cause is unknown. Possible causes include:
Social Anxiety Disorder is most common in adolescence and early adulthood. Factors that increase your chance for social anxiety disorder include:
Symptoms may begin in any public situation such as:
Symptoms during these social interactions may include:
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.
Treatments may include:
cognitive-behavioral therapy, the therapist may:
may also be part of your treatment.
Your doctor may recommend:
Your doctor may try using other medicines to help control your symptoms. Examples include:
There are no guidelines for preventing social anxiety disorder. But early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications, such as:
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at:
Published May 22, 2009. Accessed August 27, 2012.
National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/. Accessed October 12, 2005.
National Mental Health Association website. Available at:
http://www.nmha.org/. Accessed October 12, 2005.
Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-usUpdated October 29, 2013. Accessed November 26, 2013
Last reviewed December 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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