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Social anxiety disorder (SAD), previously called social phobia, is a mental health condition. People with SAD often feel nervous, afraid, or embarrassed when they are around other people in social situations. They worry that other people are judging or criticizing them for how they look, what they say, or how they act.
SAD involves more than just feeling shy or self-conscious at times. It can cause severe emotional distress. It can interfere with activities of daily life. SAD also may lead to alcohol or drug use, and even suicide.
SAD is a common mental health condition. It can develop at any time, but it usually starts in the teenage years.
This condition is diagnosed based on your history, symptoms, and behavior in social situations. You may be diagnosed with this type of anxiety if your symptoms have lasted for more than 6 months and have been present on more days than not.
Your health care provider may ask you about your use of alcohol, drugs, and prescription medicines. He or she may also refer you to a mental health specialist for further evaluation or treatment.
These treatments are often used in combination.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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