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For example, a child might develop an anxiety disorder by learning the behavior of one of their parents who has an anxiety disorder.
Children can also develop anxiety disorders as a result of being raised in controlling or overprotective environments.
It's normal to feel nervous in some social situations.
For example, going on a date or giving a presentation may cause that feeling of butterflies in your stomach.
You may avoid all social situations, including: Symptoms of social anxiety may not occur in all situations. For example, symptoms may only occur when you’re eating in front of people or talking to strangers.
But in social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions cause significant anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment because you fear being scrutinized or judged by others.
Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition, but treatment such as psychological counseling, medication and learning coping skills can help you gain confidence and improve your ability to interact with others.
Please read over our pages on social anxiety disorder (formerly called "social phobia").
A definition of social anxiety disorder Current news concerning social anxiety and its treatment, including work done on this website An invitation to join a free moderated mailing list edited specifically for people with social anxiety disorder An invitation to join in our Facebook social anxiety community.