Social Phobia

Social Phobia (sometimes referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder) is an excessive fear of being judged by others or behaving in a way that might result in embarrassment or ridicule.

For some people this fear occurs in a variety of social situations (generalized type). Other people feel relatively comfortable in most social situations but fear public scrutiny in specific situations, such as when delivering a speech, performing in public, eating in public, etc. (situational type). It is not unusual for people with Social Phobia to be highly concerned about showing symptoms of anxiety. For example, a person might feel anxious in social situations, and, as part of the anxiety, blush or sweat. They then fear that others will be critical of their blushing or sweating, and this fear increases their anxiety and contributes to the development or maintenance of a Social Phobia.

People often manage a Social Phobia by avoiding social situations. When the avoidance becomes extensive it can result in the person becoming isolated and having a diminished lifestyle. In such cases, it is not unusual for some degree of depression to occur.