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Social Anxiety Disorder

About Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is one of the more common anxiety disorders.  It is the experience of fear or anxiety about being judged or criticized when in social situations. People with this worry often fear they will be negatively evaluated, rejected, and/or offend others. There are three main categories for these social situations: performance situations, observational situations, and interpersonal interactions. 


Examples of performance situations: 


  • Public speaking.
  • Participating in class or meetings.

  • Attending a job interview. 

  • Performing in public (i.e. singing, acting, playing a sport). 

Examples of observational situations:


  • Eating or drinking in front of others. 

  • Using a public washroom. 

  • Writing in front of others .


Examples of interpersonal situations:


  • Meeting new people. 

  • Starting or having a conversation.

  • Speaking with colleagues. 

  • Initiating plans. 

  • Going to parties or networking events. 

  • Talking on the phone. 

  • Ordering food at a restaurant. 

  • Returning something at a store.  

  • Dating. 


Take inventory of your symptoms. The following are common symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder: 

  • Anxiety about others’ negative evaluations. 

  • Social situations almost always provoke anxiety.

  • Social situations are often avoided or endured with distress.

  • The fear is not proportional to the actual event.