Medical Dictionary

social anxiety disorder

noun

medical Definition of social anxiety disorder

: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 edition2013
  • 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 GuthrieThe Atlanta Journal and Constitution29 Feb. 2000
called also social phobia

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