Most people experience some feelings of nervousness when they are meeting new people, giving speeches, or being evaluated.
However, for people with Social Phobia (also called Social Anxiety Disorder), these feelings can become so intense that they cannot function effectively.
People with Social Phobia are excessively afraid of being scrutinized, evaluated, or rejected by other people. They often worry that others will see how nervous they are and will think badly of them as a result. Because of their extreme fears, people with Social Phobia often avoid social encounters. Some people fear and avoid only certain situations, such as giving speeches. Other people fear and avoid most or all social situations. These people are described as having Generalized Social Phobia.
Some commonly feared social situations are:
- Speaking in public
- Being the center of attention
- Meeting new people
- Attending parties
- Talking with authority figures
- Eating or writing in public
- Using public bathrooms
Click here for information about treatment available at the Anxiety Disorders Center.