Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, is characterized by marked and persistent fear of situations in which one must perform or interact socially with or in front of others. A person with social phobia fears situations in which he or she is exposed to new situations or people and worries about behaving in a way that he/she might be judged by others as foolish, unacceptable, inappropriate, or inadequate.
When a socially phobic individual is exposed to these situations, he or she feels anxious, both physiologically and emotionally. This disorder causes a negative impact on the individual’s social, academic and/or occupational functioning. Treatment for social phobia focuses on helping the patient to explore and identify possible triggers to their social anxiety, how this anxiety manifests itself, and work on coping skills and tools they can acquire to help overcome their phobias. Furthermore, treatment interventions for social phobia may include individual, family, and group therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapeutic techniques are often utilized, along with relaxation techniques and psychotropic treatment (if appropriate).