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Social Phobias

Clinical picture - fear of scrutiny by other people in comparatively small groups leading to avoidance of social situations

The fears may be

discrete - restricted to eating in public, to be introduced to other people, to public speaking, or to encounters with the opposite sex

diffuse - social situations outside the family circle.

Direct eye-to-eye confrontation may be stressful.

Low self-esteem and fear of criticism.

Symptoms may progress to panic attacks.

Avoidance - almost complete social isolation.

Usually start in childhood or adolescence.

Estimation of lifetime prevalence - between 10-13 %.

It is equally common in both sexes.

Secondary alcoholism.

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