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How is social phobia different in children than in adults?

The symptoms and diagnostic criteria for social phobia differ somewhat for children and adults. In children, common symptoms are crying, throwing tantrums, and withdrawing when in the company of unfamiliar peers or adults. But children with social phobia are capable of appropriate social relationships with familiar people. Their symptoms must last at least six months to be considered social phobia, whereas in adults the symptoms can come and go with the waxing and waning of stress. For example, a person who has social phobia when single may find that it nearly disappears after marriage, but it flares up again after divorce or the spouse's death. In both children and adults, the symptoms tend to be ongoing and severe. More than half of those with social phobia also have specific phobia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.