Social Anxiety Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder
National Institute of Mental Health
What is Social Phobia?
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.
Signs & Symptoms
People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.
Effective treatments for social phobia are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with social phobia and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Getting Help: Locate Services
Locate mental health services in your area, affordable healthcare, NIMH clinical trials, and listings of professionals and organizations.