Diagnosis of Social Phobia

A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation based on specific criteria.

Medical professionals diagnose social phobia when individuals have fear or anxiety that involves all of the following:

  • Is intense and has been present for 6 months or longer;
  • Concerns one or more social situations;
  • Nearly always occurs in the same situation or situations;
  • Involves fear of a negative evaluation by others;
  • Leads the individual to avoid the situation or uncomfortably endure it;
  • Is out of proportion to the actual danger; and
  • Causes significant distress or significantly impairs functioning.

Also, medical professionals rule out other mental disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as agoraphobia, panic disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder.

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