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Social Anxiety Disorder


Social anxiety disorder is a condition that causes you to fear social situations. It is also called social phobia. You may fear that people are watching or judging you. The fear can cause problems with work, school, or other daily activities.



  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Antidepressants: These relieve the symptoms of anxiety or depression. Other behavior problems may also be treated with antidepressants.

  • Beta-blockers: These relieve performance anxiety.

  • Sedative medicine: These help you stay calm and relaxed.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Monitor your condition:

Keep a record of the situations that cause your symptoms. Bring the diary with you when you see your primary healthcare provider. Include the following:

  • What were you doing when the symptoms started?

  • Had you eaten anything unusual, or taken a new medicine or herbal supplement?

  • Were you stressed or upset during the time leading up to the attack?

  • How often do you have symptoms? How long do they last?

  • What were your thoughts and feelings during these situations?

  • What symptoms did you have?

  • Did anything help ease or stop the symptoms, such as a relaxation technique?

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have new symptoms that you did not have at your last visit.

  • Your symptoms get worse or do not get better with treatment.

  • You have problems that you think may be caused by the medicine you are taking.

  • Your anxiety makes you unable to work or to care for yourself or your family.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department or call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain, tightness, or pressure that may spread to your shoulders, arms, jaw, neck, or back.

  • You feel like fainting or are lightheaded or too dizzy to stand up.

  • You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.