Social Anxiety Disorder

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder (previously social phobia) involves the fear of social situations, including scrutiny or contact with strangers.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Persons with a social anxiety disorder (SAD)  fear embarrassing themselves in social situations (i.e., social gatherings, oral presentations, meeting new people). They may have specific fears such as eating or speaking in front of others, or they may experience a vague, nonspecific fear of “embarrassing themselves.

How common is Social Anxiety Disorder?

It is a common psychiatric illness affecting 3 to 13 in 100 persons.

Who gets affected more by it?

Females are affected more often than males.

Is it seen in children?

2 to 3 in 100 children get affected by SAD.

What is the treatment?

Outpatient treatment is usually sufficient for most persons suffering from SAD. Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are helpful in treatment. Psychotherapy usually involves behavioral and cognitive methods, including cognitive retraining, desensitization, and rehearsal during sessions. Drug treatment of GAD includes antidepressants, which also show antianxiety effects, and short-acting sedatives or beta-blockers one hour before the performance.