In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Also called: Social Phobia

- Summary
- About social anxiety disorder
- Risk factors and causes
- Signs and symptoms
- Diagnosis methods
- Treatment options
- Prevention methods
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Steven A. King, M.D.
Tahir Tellioglu, M.D., APA, AAAP


Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person feels extremely anxious in some social situations and has a chronic fear of being judged by others. People with this condition also have an intense fear of embarrassing themselves. About 15 million adult Americans ages 18 and older suffer from social anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Some people with social anxiety disorder may experience extreme anxiety only in certain situations. Others with social anxiety disorder feel intense anxiety in most social situations, making it difficult to form and maintain relationships. Social anxiety disorder often begins in childhood or early adolescence and usually lasts throughout a person’s lifetime.

Patients with social anxiety disorder typically experience specific symptoms when confronted with an anxiety-provoking social situation. Such symptoms may include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, heart palpitations, muscle tension, nausea, diarrhea and/or difficulty talking. In some cases, symptoms may progress to a full-blown panic attack, a sudden brief episode of fear and anxiety.

Typically, social anxiety disorder is a condition that may flare up in cyclical fashion throughout a patient’s lifetime. A combination of medications and psychotherapy helps patients control their symptoms and lead more productive, fulfilling lives.

page 1 of 8 | Next Page

Review Date: 08-22-2007

If pain lingers for months and interferes with your life, chances are...

Tina Johnson of Women's Health magazine discusses the symptoms...

Dr. Gail Saltz talks about the red flags for chronic worriers and how they can lessen...

Dr. Saltz tells Maria Menounos how to recognize them and keep them...

Coronary artery disease patients are more likely to suffer chest pain...

The threat of losing your home or savings can really make couples...

News from Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Helpful tips and information on health and weight loss

Get the information you need


Home  |  Health Centers  |  Health A-Z  |  Staying Healthy  |  Diet & Fitness  |  Woman & Family  |   |   |  

also on iVision:  |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

 |   |  Site Map  |   | 

Copyright (c) 2000-2009 iVision Inc. All rights reserved. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.