How are social anxiety disorders diagnosed?

Social phobia is diagnosed when the fear or avoidance significantly interferes with normal, expected routines, or is excessively upsetting. Symptoms include:

- feeling very anxious before the event/outing

- feeling intensely uncomfortable throughout the event/outing

- having lingering unpleasant feelings after the event/outing

Social phobia frequently occurs with the following:

- public speaking

- meeting people

- dealing with authority figures

- eating in public

- using public restrooms

Doctors diagnose social anxiety disorders based on the presence of the symptoms and the absence of a physical explanation for the problem. You may be referred to a mental health care provider for confirmation of the diagnosis and treatment. Doctors will compare the symptoms you describe to the social anxiety disorder criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

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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.