by Preda A

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common type of anxiety disorder. People with SAD feel intense fear or worry in social events. The fear is great enough to make it hard to be in some or all social settings. SAD can make it hard to be successful or even participate in work or school.

People with SAD often describe:

  • Anxiety about meeting new people
  • Intense worry of being embarassed or humiliated in front of others
  • Worry that they are always being judged

SAD tends to start from the early teen years through early adulthood. It is not clear what causes it. It can be a common issue in some families. SAD is also often found in those with other mental health issues such as:

What are the risk factors for social anxiety disorder?What are the symptoms of social anxiety disorder?How is social anxiety disorder diagnosed?How can I reduce my risk of social anxiety disorder?What are the treatments for social anxiety disorder?Are there screening tests for social anxiety disorder?What questions should I ask my doctor?Where can I get more information about social anxiety disorder?


Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. . Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed February 27, 2019.

Social anxiety disorder: More than just shyness. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Accessed February 27, 2019.

Social phobia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated July 2018. Accessed February 27, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
  • Review Date: 12/2018
  • Update Date: 02/27/2019