This first post will describe Social Anxiety Disorder, and the following one will look at treatment options.
Social Anxiety Disorder is a significant anxiety disorder, which results in considerable disruption to an individual’s life. It generally starts in childhood and is often not recognized and is passed off as shyness. However, it is not only shyness. Typical features in adults include overthinking future social events and the possible things that could wrong. Once individuals have been in a social situation, they ruminate over everything that went ‘wrong’ in their minds during that social event.
Untreated Social Anxiety disorder frequently results in having low self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. It also often results in alcoholism or other forms of substance abuse since a substance is often used to ‘take the edge off.’
In psychiatric terms we diagnose Social Anxiety Disorder by following specific criteria, asking questions, and using scales to rate the severity of symptoms. This information is from the Mayo Clinic website
The Diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder
DSM-5 criteria for social anxiety disorder include:
Some Useful Links
The National Social Anxiety Disorder (an excellent resource)