Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

When an individual with social phobia enters or thinks about entering a feared situation, anxiety increases and for some may result in symptoms of a panic attack. Examples of feared situations include persistent fear of public speaking, meeting new people, attending parties, going to school, or having social contact through a job.

Although most people have some anxiety about social and/or performance situations, these fears are more severe, persist and may limit participation in or enjoyment of every day activities for an individual with social phobia. Social anxiety symptoms may interfere with success or completion of school, making new friends or relationships, and employment. Nonetheless, many individuals suffer with social phobia for many years without a diagnosis or treatment. However, there are a number of effective treatments available. Options include medications such as antidepressants or benzodiazepines ("Valium-like" medications), and psychotherapy (counseling or "talk therapy"), especially cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Please explore our site to find out more about participating in a treatment study for social anxiety disorder at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

If you are interested in participating in a treatment study, please call 866-44-WORRY for our confidential phone line or email us at

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