Prevalence of Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
How common is social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is a disorder that involves intense anxiety or fear about various social situations. Most people deal with some degree of anxiety in some social situations, but it’s less common for this anxiety to interfere with work or one’s personal life.
To estimate how common social anxiety is, Ronald Kessler, PhD., and his colleagues conducted interviews of nearly 10,000 adults across the United States. They asked these individuals about their symptoms of social anxiety (and other psychiatric conditions). They estimated:
- 1) How many people have suffered from social anxiety in the past year?
- 2) How many people have suffered from social anxiety in their entire lifetime?
They found that:
-Social phobia was the 4th most common mental health condition.
-About 1 in 8 people (12.1%) have suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder at some time in their life. This is called lifetime prevalence.
-In a given year, about 7 out of every 100 (or approximately 15 million) people suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (this is called 12-month prevalence).
Learn more about this study by reading the full article at:
Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the
National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 593-602.
Kessler, R.C., Chiu, W.T., Demler, O., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 617-627.
What are your thoughts?
Why do you think that Social Anxiety Disorder is more common than many people realize?