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Health Tip: Understanding Social Anxiety

(HealthDay News) -- About 7 percent of Americans are affected by social anxiety disorder, a mental illness in which a person feels uncontrollable fear during social situations.

These instances may range from answering a question in class to talking to a cashier at a grocery store.

Often, people with social anxiety disorder are afraid of being humiliated, judged or rejected, says the National Institute of Mental Health. Though the cause of social anxiety is not known, underdeveloped social skills and genetics are thought to contribute.

The agency recommends talking with a doctor if you have symptoms of social anxiety. After a diagnosis is made, psychotherapy, medication or both may be part of a treatment plan.

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