||It has been suggested that this article be merged into social anxiety disorder. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2012.|
Social phobia (better termed as social anxiety disorder) is distinguished by a fear of public humiliation or embarrassment. It is one of several phobia disorders, which are all typified by excessive, specific, and consistent fear and avoidance of an object, activity, or situation. People with social phobia may avoid doing activities in public such as eating or speaking, as well as using public bathrooms. Ultimately, someone with social phobia fear that people they do not know may judge them, which would cause them to have anxiety. Most commonly, social phobia develops between early adolescence and age 25 (Schneier et al., 1992). For more detailed information, see Social anxiety disorder.
The term “social phobia” has been used interchangeably with “social anxiety disorder” in the past, but now is the less preferred term. This is due to “phobia” suggesting the necessity of avoiding a certain object, activity, or situation. Often times with this disorder though, the evasion from the object, activity, or situation is not essential as people who meet the criteria for social anxiety disorder do not necessarily avoid all social situations. Also, the feared stimuli of those with social anxiety disorder are too extensive in the number of scenarios to be considered a specific phobia. Therefore the continued use of the term “social phobia” in describing such a disorder may lead clinicians to miss the diagnoses of those who only subtly avoid social situations (Bögels et al., 2010). This name change takes place in the upcoming DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which makes certain changes to the current requirements needed for diagnosis of social phobia (or social anxiety disorder) ("Dsm-5 development: E 04 social," 2012). DSM-5 is set to release May 18-22, 2013 ("Dsm-5 development: Timeline," 2012).
Works Referenced 
- Bögels, S. M., Alden, L., Beidel, D. C., Clark, L. A., Pine, D. S., Stein, M. B. and Voncken, M. (2010), Social anxiety disorder: questions and answers for the DSM-V. Depress. Anxiety, 27: 168–189. doi: 10.1002/da.20670
- DSM-5 development: E 04 social anxiety disorder (social phobia). (2012, April 30). Retrieved from http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=163
- DSM-5 development: Timeline. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.dsm5.org/about/Pages/Timeline.aspx
- Schacter, Daniel L., Daniel Todd. Gilbert, and Daniel M. Wegner. Psychology. New York: Worth, 2009. Print.