- A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humiliating and embarrassing.
- Exposure to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack.
- The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable.
- The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or distress.
- The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situations interferes significantly with the person’s normal routine, occupational functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
- In individuals under 18 years, the duration is at least six months.
- The fear or avoidance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or general medical condition and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.
There is also the specific Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder, in which fears include most social situations. In this case an additional diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder.
This is a topic I could pretty much devote an entire site to, and I’ve considered it. I’m kind of an expert. Let me give you my credentials. Continue reading