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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.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


Untreated, social anxiety disorder may become a long-term condition. This disorder may also cause other problems, such as alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and suicide. Social anxiety disorder treatment is more difficult if these problems are present.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.


  • 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.


  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
  • Urine sample: For this test you need to urinate into a small container. You will be given instructions on how to clean your genital area before you urinate. Do not touch the inside of the cup. Follow instructions on where to place the cup of urine when you are done.


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: You learn to face the feared object or situation slowly and carefully. You also learn to control the mental and physical reactions of fear.
  • Psychotherapy: This is also called talk therapy. You may meet with a therapist alone, with your family, or in a group setting. You learn how to ask for what you need, set limits, and say no.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.