Social anxiety disorder is a sense of anxiety resulting from one or more social situations in which the child or adolescent was exposed to negative scrutiny or criticism by peers or adults. The child or adolescent may fear humiliating or embarrassing themselves, resulting in an avoidance of certain related situations. They may also experience immediate and crippling fear or anxiety at the thought of or when in such situations. The prevalence estimates of social anxiety disorder is around 7%, similar to the 12-month prevalence of social anxiety disorder found in children and adolescents9.
- Fear of acting in a way that would be negatively evaluated by peers in social situations.
- Excessive worry concerning attendance of social events.
- Excessive worry and anxiety concerning class presentations or speaking group engagements (i.e., speech, giving an answer in front of peers, working collaboratively in a group).
- Avoidance of social situations such as not attending school, social functions, or not eating in front of others.
- Complaints often related to physical or bodily symptoms such as stomach ache, headache.
- Persistent fear or anxiety normally lasting 6 months or more.
- Symptoms in children may include tantrums, crying, freezing, clinging, or withdrawing in social situations.