- National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC) - NSAC has social anxiety clinics throughout the country. Click here to read their social anxiety blogs.
- Social Anxiety Association
- NIMH - Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness
- Social Anxiety Stories on The Mighty
- Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety
- When Young People Suffer Social Anxiety Disorder: What Parents Can Do
- What is Social Anxiety? Kids With Social Disorders- Child Mind Institute
- Centre for Clinical Interventions -- Social Anxiety Workbook, Information sheets, and Worksheets
- MHA -- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Child Mind Institute -- Helping Young Children Who Are Socially Anxious
- Beyond Blue Australia -- Social Phobia Fact Sheet
The defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. People with social anxiety disorder may worry about acting or appearing visibly anxious (e.g., blushing, stumbling over words), or being viewed as stupid, awkward, or boring. As a result, they often avoid social or performance situations, and when a situation cannot be avoided, they experience significant anxiety and distress. Many people with social anxiety disorder also experience strong physical symptoms, such as a rapid heart rate, nausea, and sweating, and may experience full-blown attacks when confronting a feared situation. Although they recognize that their fear is excessive and unreasonable, people with social anxiety disorder often feel powerless against their anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder affects approximately 15 million American adults and is the second most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder following specific phobia. The average age of onset for social anxiety disorder is during the teenage years. Although individuals diagnosed with social anxiety disorder commonly report extreme shyness in childhood, it is important to note that this disorder is not simply shyness. Read about the difference.
Social anxiety disorder can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from it. For example, individuals may decline a job opportunity that requires frequent interaction with new people or avoid going out to eat with friends due to a fear that their hands will shake when eating or drinking. Symptoms may be so extreme that they disrupt daily life and can interfere significantly with daily routines, occupational performance, or social life, making it difficult to complete school, interview and get a job, and have friendships and romantic relationships. People with social anxiety disorder are also at an increased risk for developing major depressive disorder and alcohol use disorders.
Despite the availability of effective treatments, fewer than 5% of people of with social anxiety disorder seek treatment in the year following initial onset and more than a third of people report symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.
- Women, Unwanted Sexual Attention and Social Anxiety - ADAA blog
- The COVID-19 Cycle: Social Anxiety and Withdrawal in School-Aged Kids and Teens - ADAA blog
- Social Anxiety During COVID-19 - ADAA blog
- Shaking Off the Social Rust after COVID-19 - ADAA blog
- Returning Safely to In-Person Learning - ADAA blog
- What to Do When Social Distancing Meets Social Anxiety - ADAA blog
- Help! I Keep Trying to Move Up the Corporate Ladder and My Social Anxiety is Holding Me Back - ADAA blog
- Social Anxiety - Imperfect is the New Perfect - ADAA blog
- 3 Things Your College Kid Must Know About Mental Health - ADAA blog
- Overcoming Social Anxiety: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to Build Self-Confidence and Lessen Self-Consciousness - ADAA public webinar
- What to Do When Your Kid Won't Let Go - Expert Tips for Overcoming Separation Anxiety - ADAA public webinar
- How to Help Clients Overcome Social Anxiety, Part 2: Using Experiments to Build Self-Confidence - ADAA professional webinar
- How to Help Clients Overcome Social Anxiety Part 1 - ADAA professional webinar
- How to Overcome COVID Re-entry Anxiety - ADAA public webinar
- What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
- Anxiety Disorders - What is Normal?
- Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
- Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
- Causes of Social Anxiety Disorders
- Social Anxiety Disorder in Children and Teens
- Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults
Books by ADAA Member Professionals
ADAA Publication: Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder, Second Edition
This ADAA publication is full of practical tips, helpful techniques, and more to help manage anxious thoughts and physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder.
Read an excerpt of Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder. Using humor, warmth, and language that is easy to understand, authors Murray Stein, MD, MPH, and John Walker, PhD, explain what causes social anxiety disorder, how it impacts social and romantic relationships, and what treatments work. Order your copy today.
- Find Your Fierce: How to Put Social Anxiety in Its Place -- by Jacqueline Sperling, PhD, Magination Press, 2021
- How To Be Yourself – by Ellen Hendriksen, St. Martin's Press, 2018
- Social Courage: Coping and Thriving with the Reality of Social Anxiety -- by Eric Goodman, Exisle Publishing, 2018
- Stop Anxiety From Stopping You; The Breakthrough Program For Conquering Panic and Social Anxiety -- by Dr. Helen Odessky, Mango Publishing, 2017
- The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens: CBT and ACT Skills to Help You Build Social Confidence -- by Jennifer Shannon, New Harbinger, 2012
- The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear -- by Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson, New Harbinger, 2017
Check out these other self-help books
ADAA Professional Members in the News - Articles
- 07/16/2021 5 Ways to Help Someone With Social Anxiety, Livestrong.com, Dave Carbonell, PhD
- 06/28/2021 Beyond Shyness: What to Know About Social Anxiety Disorder, AARP, Larry Cohen, LICSW and Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
- 06/22/2021 Do I Have Social Anxiety or Something Else?, MSN, Debra Kissen, PhD, MHSA, David Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, Ken Goodman, LCSW
- 06/01/2021 Social Anxiety and Work, The Anxious Achiever Podcast, Stefan Hofmann, PhD
- 05/27/2021 Dreading the Return to Pre-Pandemic Life? Psychologists Talk Post-COVID Social Anxiety, Hypebae.com, Krystal Lewis, PhD
- 05/10/2021 Dealing with social anxiety over renewal of in-person interactions, NJ Spotlight News, Marla W. Deibler, PsyD
- 03/25/2021 Smiling at Strangers was a Helpful Tool for my Social Anxiety, Byrdie, Roseann Capanna-Hodge, EdD
- 02/16/2021 It’s Not Just You: The Pandemic Has Made Social Anxiety So Much Worse, Elemental.Medium.com, Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
- 12/18/2020 For Those With Social Anxiety, Holidays During COVID-19 May Be a Relief, HuffPost, Ellen Hendriksen PhD
- 11/12/2020 How to Deal with Quarantine-Induced Social Anxiety, New York TImes, Ellen Hendricksen, PhD
- 06/04/2020 D-Cycloserine for Social Anxiety: Does Timing Matter?, Medscape.com, Stefan Hofmann, PhD and Beth Salcedo, MD
Other ADAA Resources: