social anxiety disorder - Social phobia - Definition, epidemiology, causes, signs and treatment DSM5

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Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, one of the most common psychiatric disorders explained in 3 minutes video.


What are the causes and risk factors of social anxiety disorder?


What is a social anxiety disorder / social phobia?

Social anxiety disorder abbreviated as SAD, also called social phobia, is a common disorder characterized by intense, persistent fear of being humiliated or judged by others in social or performance situations, leading to substantial distress or impairment in functioning.



A person with social anxiety disorder can fear a range of circumstances, including:
fear of looking stupid or ridiculous.
fear of appearing uninteresting to others.
Fear of being judged as socially incompetent.

examples of situations that may trigger a social phobia are
public speaking.
Initiating a conversation with a strange person.
speaking to someone in a position of authority.

What is the prevalence of social anxiety disorder?

Social phobia, is second most common anxiety disorder. 5% to 12% of people in the united states are affected at some point during their life.

Social anxiety disorder symptoms typically start in mid-teenage years, new onset after age of thirty is not uncommon.

How many types of social anxiety disorder are there? (based on DSM-5)

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders identify two types of social anxiety disorders.

The first used to be known as the general type, it is a Persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations involving exposure to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny by others. Performance type of social anxiety disorder is when the person experiences intense fear and anxiety only during speaking or performing in public but not in other social situations.


Several factors can increase the risk of developing a social Phobia.
Genetic or inherited traits tend to run in biological families. It is still not entirely clear how much this factor contributes to this disorder.

Researches suggest that environmental factors increase the odds of the development of social anxiety disorder by adopting this behavior pattern after an embarrassing or unpleasant social experience.
Psychosocial factors include early childhood adversity such as bullying and parental influences.



What are the signs and symptoms of social phobia?


When exposed to a feared social situation, a person with social phobia may experience symptoms of extreme anxiety. Signs may differ slightly depending on the situation. Here are the most common symptoms

blushing, shakiness, mental blackout, palpitation, sweaty palms, dry throat, self-doubt, and not last, overwhelming urge to flee the situation.

How to treat social anxiety disorder?

Recovery from a social anxiety disorder is possible with adequate treatment. Depending on the individual, treatment options may include:

cognitive behavior therapy.
anxiety management techniques.
social skills coaching.
and finally, medication.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most efficient psychotherapy for patients with social phobia.
This treatment aims to identify and challenge the flawed cognitions associated with social situations and adjust those thinking patterns.
CBT helps people learn the use of relaxation techniques.

another treatment is Exposure therapy, usually an adequate measure to treat social phobia. However, arranging for exposure therapy is not always easy.


Several classes of medications are used to treat social anxiety disorder, they are used to treat the severe form of the disorder that affects the daily life and limit the productivity of the patient. these medications are also used to treat the complication of social phobia as depression. It is important not to ignore the contra indications and potential side effects of each of these drugs.




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