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Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Mental Health)

About Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social phobia is a strong fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed. This fear can be so strong that it gets in the way of going to work or school or doing other everyday things.

Everyone has felt anxious or embarrassed at one time or another. For example, meeting new people or giving a public speech can make anyone nervous. But people with social phobia worry about these and other things for weeks before they happen.

People with social phobia are afraid of doing common things in front of other people. For example, they might be afraid to sign a check in front of a cashier at the grocery store, or they might be afraid to eat or drink in front of other people, or use a public restroom. Most people who have social phobia know that they shouldn't be as afraid as they are, but they can't control their fear. Sometimes, they end up staying away from places or events where they think they might have to do something that will embarrass them. For some people, social phobia is a problem only in certain situations, while others have symptoms in almost any social situation....Read more about Social Phobia NIH - National Institute of Mental Health

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

[Psychological treatments in social phobia in childhood and adolescence: a qualitative review]

Bibliographic details: Rosa-Alcazar AI, Olivares-Olivares PJ, Iniesta M.  [Psychological treatments in social phobia in childhood and adolescence: a qualitative review]. [Los tratamientos psicologicos en la fobia social infantil y adolescente: una revision cualitativa.] Anuario de Psicologia 2009; 40(1): 23-42

El tratamiento de la fobia social en ninos y adolescentes: una revision meta-analitica [The treatment of social phobia in children and adolescents: a revision of a meta-analysis]

Bibliographic details: Olivares Rodriguez J, Alcazar A I, Caballo V E, Garcia-Lopez L J, Orgiles Amoros M, Lopez-Gollonet C.  El tratamiento de la fobia social en ninos y adolescentes: una revision meta-analitica [The treatment of social phobia in children and adolescents: a revision of a meta-analysis]. Psicologia Conductual 2003; 11(3: 599-622

[The treatment of specific and generalised social phobia in Europe: a meta-analytic review]

Bibliographic details: Meca J S, Alcazar A I, Rodriguez J O.  [The treatment of specific and generalised social phobia in Europe: a meta-analytic review] . [El tratamiento de la fobia social especifica y generalizada en Europa: Un estudio meta-analitico.] Anales de Psicologia 2004; 20(1): 55-68

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Summaries for consumers

Medication for social anxiety disorder (SAnD): a review of the evidence

Individuals with SAnD often experience intense fear, avoidance, and distress in unfamiliar social situations. There is evidence that medications are useful in minimising these symptoms.

Medication for treating anxiety disorders in people with alcohol use problems

People with anxiety disorders and alcohol use problems, as well as their healthcare providers.

Internet‐based cognitive behavioural therapy with therapist support for anxiety in adults: a review of the evidence

People who suffer from anxiety and their families.

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More about Social Phobia

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Other terms to know:
Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders

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