Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)


This is a mental health condition. It's a fear that other people are watching you and judging you. This fear is intense and constant. It can make it hard for you to interact with others.


We aren't sure exactly what causes this disorder to develop. It can run in families. It may be linked to a problem with the way your brain responds to stress and fear. Underdeveloped social skills may also play a role.


If you have social anxiety disorder, you may have intense feelings of anxiety or fear in some or all social situations. You may be afraid to go on dates or to meet new people. You may be afraid to speak in front of others. You may worry for weeks before a job interview or a school report. You may have physical symptoms, too. You may blush and sweat. Your heart may beat rapidly, and you may feel nausea. Your mind may go blank. These feelings are very unpleasant. You may go to great lengths to avoid situations where you think you may be embarrassed. This can cause you to avoid other people and public places. It can affect your job and your daily life.


Social anxiety disorder can be treated with medications. It can also be treated with talk therapy, which can help you learn to control your fears. A support group may help, too. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.