Social Phobia

What is Social Phobia?

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people. more>>

Signs and Symptoms

People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. more>>


Effective treatments for social phobia are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with social phobia and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. more>>

Getting Help

Locate mental health services in your area, affordable healthcare, NIMH clinical trials, and listings of professionals and organizations. more>>

Related Information
Publications/Resource Materials

Read, print, or order NIMH booklets, fact sheets, and other publications on social phobia such as:

Social Phobia: A Real Illness
An easy-to-read booklet on social phobia that explains what it is, when it starts, how long it lasts and how to get help?includes a self-test.

Facts About Social Phobia
A fact sheet with a brief description of social phobia and its treatment.

Anxiety Disorders
A detailed booklet that describes the symptoms, causes, and treatments, of the major anxiety disorders, with information on getting help and coping.

More Publications>>

Social Phobia and Anxiety Disorders Research