Social Anxiety Disorder
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Social anxiety disorder is intense fear of social situations. It can lead to avoiding other people or situations.
The exact cause is unknown. Possible causes are:
Social anxiety disorder often starts in teens and young adults. It is more common in women than in men. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Symptoms are intense fear of being judged by others. They may happen when a person is:
Physical symptoms of anxiety occur, such as:
The doctor will ask about your fears and symptoms. A physical exam may be done. You may need to see a mental health specialist. A mental health assessment may be done.
The goal is to ease symptoms. Other mental health problems may also need to be treated. Options may be:
There are no guidelines to prevent social anxiety disorder.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Mental Health America
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
Leichsenring F, Leweke F. Social anxiety disorder. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(23):2255-2264.
Social anxiety disorder. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/social-anxiety-disorder . Accessed March 9, 2021.
Social phobia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 9, 2021.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 03/09/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.