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What is Social Phobia?

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Updated December 04, 2013

Definition: Social phobia was the first term used to describe social fears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The term was first introduced in the second edition of the DSM released in 1968; at that time the definition was very narrow and described a specific phobia of social situations. By 1980, when the DSM-III was released, social phobia became an official psychiatric diagnosis, but the diagnosis still only consisted of a narrow fear of performance situations. In 1987, the term generalized social anxiety disorder was introduced to describe people with more general and pervasive social fears, and in 1994, social anxiety disorder (SAD) officially replaced social phobia as the diagnostic term for extreme social anxiety.

Also Known As: social anxiety disorder

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