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Overview of Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, describes individuals who have a marked fear of social situations. Many people feel shy or somewhat self-conscious in social settings, and most people will feel anxious about speaking or performing in public. Social Phobia is the term that is used when someone's shyness or social anxiety gets to the point where it causes them a very significant problem in life by impairing their ability to handle social situations, like participating in meetings at work, speaking with bosses or teachers, dating, or having conversations with unfamiliar people.

Social Phobia is one of the most common psychiatric conditions, affecting up to 14% of all people in the general population. It often first becomes apparent in early adolescence and thereafter tends to run a chronic course. The causes of the condition remain incompletely understood, but likely involve a combination of genetic factors that lead to certain shy and inhibited character traits, as well as early life experiences that include feeling insecurely bonded with one's caregivers. Treatments are available and include psychotherapy and medications.

 

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Symptoms & Definition