you have Social Anxiety Disorder, or Social Phobia?
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social phobia) page is an abridged version of
the DSM-IV Criteria.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is a guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders
in the United States.)
This page about Social
Anxiety Disorder has
been included for information purposes only - as a guideline to
diagnosis- and although these criteria are displayed to provide a
guideline to diagnosis they cannot substitute a visit to a doctor or
mental health practitioner.
One more thing:
A "diagnosis" is merely a label .
It does not
define you as a person.
Be very aware of the power of Labelling- see my
pages on the
need for certainty and The Power of Language (coming soon- subscribe to
my RSS feed to get it as soon as it's available).
DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY
A marked and persistent fear of one or more social and
situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to
possible scrutiny by others.
The individual fears that he or
she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be
humiliating or embarrassing. Note:
children, there must be evidence of the capacity for age-appropriate
social relationships with familiar people and the anxiety must occur in
peer settings, not just in interactions with adults.
Exposure to the feared social situation
provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or
predisoposed Panic Attack.
In children, the anxiety may be expressed by
tantrums, freezing, or shrinking from social situations with unfamiliar
The person recognizes that the fear is
excessive or unreasonable. Note:
children, this feature may be absent.
The feared social or performance
situation are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or
The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or
distress in the
feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with
the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or
social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about
having the phobia.
In individuals under age 18 years, the
duration is at least 6 months.
The fear or avoidance is not due to the
of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general
condition and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder
(e.g., Panic Disorder With or Without Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety
Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a Pervasive Developmental Disorder,
or Schizoid Personality Disorder).
If a general medical condition or
disorder is present,
the fear in Criterion A is unrelated to it, e.g., the fear is not of
Stuttering, trembling in Parkinson's disease, or exhibiting abnormal
eating behavior in Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.