Social Anxiety

Excessive fear of becoming embarrassed or humiliated in social situations, which often leads to significant avoidance behaviors.

  • Significant and persistent fear of one (or more) social or performance situations in which the individual is exposed to unfamiliar people, or to possible scrutiny by others due to fear of humiliation or embarrassment. 
  • Exposure to the feared social or performance situation provokes significant anxiety.
  • The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, there may be limited insight.
  • The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or distress.

The avoidance, anticipation of, or distress of the phobic object/situation must cause significant distress or interferes with the individual’s daily life, occupational, academic, or social functioning to meet diagnosis. The symptoms cannot be better accounted for by another mental disorder or be caused by substances, medications, or medical illness.

Social Phobia could be generalized, that is, fear is present across any social situations; could also be specific, such as eating in public, public speaking, talking to authority figures (e.g. boss)

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