social anxiety

300.23 Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) Symptoms and Related Diagnosis

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia):







Information related to Social Anxiety Disorder or sometimes what is referred to as Social Phobia as well as the specific symptoms follow below. While some of these Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals, and others, only properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis.




A multitude of factors are considered in addition to the psychological symptoms in making a proper diagnosis, including medical and psychological testing considerations. This information is for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) diagnostic criteria 300.23 (F40.10):

A. Marked fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. Examples include social interactions such as having a conversation, meeting unfamiliar people, being observed eating or drinking, and performing in front of others such as giving a speech.

B. Individual fears that he or she will act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be negatively evaluated such as feeling humiliated or embarrassed or will lead to rejection or offend others.

C. The social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety.
Note: In children, the fear or anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, clinging, shrinking, or failing to speak in social situations.

D. The social situations are avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.

E. The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation and to the sociocultural context.

F. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for six months or more.

G. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

H. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance such as drug of abuse, a medication or another medical condition.

I. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, such as panic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or autism spectrum disorder.

J. If another medical condition such as Parkinson’s disease, obesity, disfigurement from burns or injury is present, the fear, anxiety, or avoidance is clearly unrelated or is excessive.

Specify if:
Performance only: If the fear is restricted to speaking or performing in public.

Diagnostic Information and Criterion from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition American Psychological Association

See Related:

Anxiety 101: What is essential for you to know?
Anxiety Diagnosis and Related DSM-5 Diagnosis Codes
Anxiety Medication 101: What You Need to Know


Psych Talk


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *