According to Black’s Medical Dictionary, social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is a “condition in which an individual is fearful or embarrassed in company and tends to avoid social situations and activities, thereby impairing the formation of relationships, reducing life quality and adversely affecting performance at school or work. It may be recurrent or persistent and may coexist with depression, panic disorders, general anxiety or substance abuse” (43rd edition, 2018). While it is typical for humans to feel anxious in certain social situations, such as during a presentation, date, or interview, social anxiety disorder is a type of phobia that initiates “intense and unrealistic” fears in response to day-to-day social interactions. As a result, this disorder can lead to “severe stress [that] can affect… daily routine[s], work, school or other activities” (Mayo Clinic, n.d.).
According to the Social Anxiety Association, social anxiety disorder is the third largest mental health care problem in the world, following alcoholism and depression. Some additional information conveying the prevalence and impact of this disorder include the following:
Despite the many avenues of treatment there are for this particular disorder, many individuals affected do not seek help. Some staggering statistics regarding treatment for social anxiety disorder include the following:
*Some common social situations include:
Symptom information from Mayo Clinic, Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
According to Anxiety.org, some commonly cited causes for social anxiety disorder include the following:
Information from Anxiety.org