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What is social anxiety disorder?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Social anxiety disorders, also known as social phobias, are mental illnesses that affect a person's ability to engage in normal social interactions. People with these conditions may worry that they are being judged by others and experience excessive fear that they will embarrass themselves or not meet performance expectations. Social anxiety disorders differ from ordinary shyness in that they have more severe symptoms and can be extremely disruptive to a person's life. Social anxiety disorders are chronic in nature and may first become apparent in childhood or show up later in life.

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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.