Medical Dictionary

social anxiety disorder

noun

Medical Definition of social anxiety disorder

  1. :  an anxiety disorder that is characterized by persistent and exaggerated fear of social situations (such as meeting strangers, dating, or public speaking) in which embarrassment or a negative judgment by others may occur and that causes significant distress, often resulting in an avoidance of such situations and impairment of normal social or occupational activities The essential feature of social anxiety disorder is marked, or intense, fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized by others.—Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, 2013 About 5.3 million Americans … suffer from social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia. It occurs in women twice as often as men. Symptoms include a persistent fear of being scrutinized and humiliated in public, excessive worrying, profuse sweating, trembling and stomach discomfort.—Patricia Guthrie, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 29 Feb. 2000—called also social phobia


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