Dr. Hafez Amin

Dr. Hafez Amin

Consultant Psychiatrist 

Yas Healthcare (Saada Branch)

Abu Dhabi
طبيب نفسي Psychiatrist

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), previously called social phobia, is a mental health condition. People with SAD often feel nervous, afraid, or embarrassed when they are around other people in social situations. They worry that other people are judging or criticizing them for how they look, what they say, or how they act.

SAD involves more than just feeling shy or self-conscious at times. It can cause severe emotional distress. It can interfere with activities of daily life.

SAD is a common mental health condition. It can develop at any time, but it usually starts in the teenage years.

What are the signs and symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

The main symptom of this condition is fear of embarrassment caused by being criticized or judged in social situations.

You may be afraid to:
  • Speak in public.
  • Go shopping.
  • Use a public bathroom.
  • Eat at a restaurant.
  • Go to work.
  • Interact with people you do not know.
Extreme anxiety may cause physical symptoms:
  • Blushing.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Sweating.
  • Shaky hands or voice.
  • Confusion.
  • Light-headedness.
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.

Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder

Treatment for this condition may include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 

This type of talk therapy helps you learn to replace negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones. This may include learning how to use self-calming skills and other methods of managing your anxiety.

Exposure therapy. You will be exposed to social situations that cause you fear. The treatment starts with practicing self-calming in situations that cause you low levels of fear. Over time, you will progress by sustaining self-calming and managing harder situations.

Antidepressant medicines 

These medicines may be used by themselves or in addition to other therapies.


This process trains you to manage your body’s response (physiological response) through breathing techniques and relaxation methods. You will work with a therapist while machines are used to monitor your physical symptoms.

Techniques for relaxation and managing anxiety

These include deep breathing, self-talk, meditation, visual imagery, muscle relaxation, music therapy, and yoga. These techniques are often used with other therapies to keep you calm in situations that cause you anxiety.

These treatments are often used in combination.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

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