Health Library

Social anxiety disorder is not well understood by the general public, or by medical and mental health professionals. As a result, the majority of people with social anxiety disorder may be misdiagnosed or untreated.

The diagnosis of social anxiety disorder is based on the following criteria being present for 6 months or more:

  • General symptoms may include:
    • Feared social situations
    • Exposure to unfamiliar people or scrutiny
    • Fear of doing something humiliating or embarrassing
  • Disruption of ability to manage daily life activities, such as:
    • Normal routines
    • Success in school
    • Career
    • Social relationships
  • Anxiety in social situations is very distressing, but recognized as excessive or unreasonable

The process of making the diagnosis may include the following:

Initial assessment—Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. You may be asked how long the symptoms have been present, how distressing they are, and how they affect your ability to function. You may be given a psychological assessment as well.

Evaluation for or of other psychiatric disordersDepression , substance abuse (alcohol use disorder or drug addiction), and other anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, panic attacks) often occur with social anxiety disorder. You may be tested for these and other disorders.

References:

Schneier FR. Clinical practice. Social anxiety disorder. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(10):1029-1036.

Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115906/Social-anxiety-disorder. Updated July 12, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.

Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/social-phobia-social-anxiety-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed December 23, 2015.



Last reviewed December 2015 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Baptist Flame

Baptist Health Systems

1-800-948-6262

Find A Doctor

Services

Locations

Baptist Medical Clinic

Patients & Visitors

Learn

Contact Us

Physician Tools

Careers at Baptist

Employee Links

Online Services

At Baptist Health Systems

At Baptist Medical Center

close ×