Do you feel like you have a fear of public speaking? Does the thought of this make your insides turn and your palms sweat. This is what it feels like on a daily basis for people who are diagnosed with having social phobia.

Social phobia which can also be known as social anxiety disorder is diagnosed when people become overwhelmingly anxious within social settings and social situations ("National Institute of mental Health", 2010).

"Social phobia is an extreme, enduring, irrational fear and avoidance of social or performance situations" (Barlow & Durrand, 2006).'

"Social phobia is felt by 13.3% of the general population. This makes social phobia the most common psychological disorder, affecting more than 35 million people in the United States alone.." (Barlow & Durrand, 2006). Social phobia is more common for females to have than for males, like many other anxiety disorders. Social phobia also has an onset within the early to mid teens and can be caused by a humiliating childhood experience and ussually runs a lifelong course (DSM, 300.23).

The DSM IV has a specific criteria for social phobia.