Also known as social anxiety disorder, social phobia is characterized by debilitating self-consciousness in social situations. Sufferers constantly worry that they are embarrassing themselves, that others are watching and judging them.
Example: A woman takes half an hour to work up the courage to make a phone call regarding a mistake on her electric bill. Although the associate on the phone is friendly and helpful, the woman can’t shake the feeling that he’s annoyed with her and finds her rude and demanding.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Nov 2008