Social Phobia

Fear of negative evaluation by others.

Social phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an invading and often debilitating fear of criticism or other negative evaluation from others. It is essentially a fear of disapproval, the terror of being thought bad of. Instead of being driven to perform the sufferer will do anything to avoid socialising thus as part of a successful program of treatment a person so afflicted must be re-taught basic social skills.

Once thought, much like OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER, to be relatively rare, current research shows that social phobia significantly impairs the lives of 2-3% of the general U.S. population. One would presume that this figure is similar in other parts of the developed world. Another 20% experience "social anxiety", which is allegedly less severe but only because they are able to avoid the social situations they dread.

It is vital that the therapist does his best to find reason to encourage the sufferers social attempts by positive reinforcement (signs of acceptance).   This in itself can become part of the "cure".

Left unchecked, however, these problems can sometimes lead to Sociophobia (Fear of society or people in general) by virtue of the avoidance principle.


  • Own Knowledge
  • Notes compiled over the years

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