Social anxiety is a term used to describe an experience of anxiety (emotional discomfort, fear, apprehension or worry) regarding social situations, interactions with other and being evaluated or scrutinized by other people. It occurs early in childhood as a normal part of the development of social functioning, but may go unnoticed until adolescence . People vary in how often they experience social anxiety or in which kinds of situations. It can be related to shyness or other emotional or temperamental factors, but its exact nature is still the subject of research and theory.
A psychopathological form of social anxiety is called "social anxiety disorder" or social phobia. This disorder can become major obsessions and can result in a reduced quality of life. Social anxiety can be self-integrated and persistent for people who suffer from O.C.D, which can make social anxiety even harder to control, especially if ignored.
Some use the terms "social anxiety" and "social phobia" interchangeably.
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