How common is social phobia? - Social phobia

Anxiety: A Very Short Introduction - Daniel Freeman, Jason Freeman 2012

How common is social phobia?
Social phobia

Social phobia is one of the most common anxiety disorders. The US National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), for instance, estimated that 13.3% of Americans will experience it at some point during their life. The NCS’s follow-up study, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCSR), found that 6.8% of those questioned had suffered from social phobia in the previous twelve months. When the NCSR analysed the severity of those cases, the 6.8% figure broke down into roughly equal thirds for ’serious’, ’moderate’, and ’mild’. But these are relative terms: even ’mild’ cases met the criteria for a clinical disorder.

Social phobia normally begins in adolescence. A major US survey found that 9% of young people aged 13—18 had experienced problems at some point in their life, with 1.3% having been severely affected. Like anxiety disorders in general, social phobia is more common in women than men (by a ratio of approximately 3:2).