What is Social Anxiety Disorder?






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This video describes social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is a disorder that involves fear, anxiety, and sometimes panic when social situations occur. The definition of social anxiety disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) includes several criteria: fear in social situations where there is a possibility of exposure to scrutiny, fear of acting in a way that will result in negative evaluation, social situations almost always result in anxiety or fear, social situations are avoided or they are endured with intense anxiety or fear, the anxiety and fear are out of proportion to the actual threat, the disturbance lasts longer than six months, clinically significant distress and social occupational or other areas, and it cannot be better explained by substance use disorder, another mental health disorder, or a medical disorder. There are instances where individuals have social anxiety disorder but it only relates to performing (e.g. public speaking). The specifier associated with this is “performance only.” The 12-month prevalence in the United States for social anxiety disorder is 7% and the median age of onset is 13. This disorder is sometimes comorbid with obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, major depressive disorder, and substance use disorder.