Childhood Anxiety Disorder

Rick D'Alli, MD

In This Article

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is marked by persistent fear of social or performance situations in which embarrassment may occur. It is more common in girls, and may be a lifelong problem with periods of remission or of increased severity.

Other symptoms (must persist for at least 6 months):

  • In young children, tantrums, freezing, blushing, timidity to the point of muteness

  • In older children, hypersensitivity to criticism, fear of indirect evaluation by others (eg, test taking), poor social skills

  • Palpitations

  • Tremors

  • Sweating

  • Diarrhea

Social anxiety disorder occurs in the mid-teens; however, it can begin earlier. It may be a chronic, lifelong problem with periods in which it becomes more severe.


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