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15+ Need-to-Know Social Anxiety Statistics [2021 Update]

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Every human being experiences anxiety, be it to a greater or lesser. Social anxiety statistics indicate that the problem is much more widespread and worrisome than anyone thought. Among examples of such disorders are social anxiety disorder, but also phobias, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. 

Today, anxiety represents one of the most common mental health disorders on the planet, social anxiety facts reveal

We’ve compiled the following list of such statistics to provide a clear and up-to-date insight into the current state of things. 

Let’s dig in.

Social Anxiety Statistics Overview
(Editor’s Pick)

  • 1 in 13 people worldwide suffers from social anxiety.
  • Social anxiety disorder starts around the age of 13.
  • Modern technology, including social media, is among the major factors that trigger social anxiety.
  • At least 6.8% of the US population suffers from some form of social anxiety.
  • Social anxiety affects only 9% of people over the age of 60 and 31.4% of youth between the ages of 13 and 14.
  • CBD can potentially reduce social anxiety symptoms, according to some studies.
  • Only around 36.9% of individuals with social anxiety disorder ever receive adequate counselling or treatment.

General Social Anxiety Facts and Statistics

You might ask, “What causes social anxiety?” There are several factors, and these can be genetic, environmental, biological, social, and even behavioral. 

Below are some engaging facts about social anxiety to enlighten us further about this mental disorder.

1. Between 2.4 and 18.2% of people worldwide have anxiety disorders at a specific point in time.

(Anxiety Hub)

According to anxiety statistics worldwide, the share of people who had anxiety at a certain point in time reaches 18%. The survey, which involves 27 countries, disclosed that anxiety disorders were the most common except only in one country. This shows that this condition affects people not only in the US but globally.

2. One in 13 people across the globe suffers from social anxiety.

(Pasadena Villa)

Social anxiety statistics worldwide indicate that social phobia affects 1 out of 13 people globally, accounting for 7.6% of the population. Social anxiety is also known as the world’s third most common mental health disorder.

3. Social anxiety disorder starts around the age of 13.

(HuffPost)

Though social anxiety can manifest in various forms and at different times, social anxiety disorder statistics reveal that adolescence is the most critical period of a person’s life. Any sort of vulnerable time of transition represents fertile soil for this type of mental health disorder. 

Some of the most frequent examples include when young adults and teenagers prepare for college or high school. Once again, the most critical thing to keep in mind when it comes to this disorder is to respond immediately to even the earliest of social anxiety symptoms

Ignoring even the smallest of signs of this severe problem can only lead to more significant issues down the road.  

4. The prevalence of anxiety has increased by 5%.

(RTOR)

Has social anxiety increased over the years? Unfortunately, yes. Recent research has shown that the prevalence of this mental disorder rose by 5%. Moreover, the millennials are the most affected generation.

5. Modern technology, including social media, is among the major factors that trigger social anxiety.

(Life Counseling Solutions, Depression Alliance)

So why is social anxiety on the rise? This question needs special attention and answering it would help experts develop specific interventions to alleviate it. While there’s no exact answer to this yet, one of the identified potential factors causing it is the use of technology, including social media.

45% of teens frequently use social media, anxiety statistics show. Further, a third of teens have anxiety problems, which suggests that people who use social media more are highly likely to develop social anxiety.

6. 33% of Americans reported they experienced mental health concerns since the coronavirus outbreak.

(Statista)

A survey among adults in select countries has shed light on the question, “Has anxiety increased since Covid-19?” Based on the results, Americans are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, or great sadness, with 33% share.

Participants from the UK and Canada tied, each having 26%, followed by France with 24% of the respondents. These findings affirm the upward trends in anxiety worldwide particularly in the first three months of the pandemic.

Social Anxiety Statistics

Social Anxiety Stats in the US

7. At least 6.8% of the US population suffers from some form of social anxiety.

(Psycom)

The statistics on social anxiety indicate that the number of US citizens with this disorder is at an all-time high. A recent report from Psycom shows that no less than 15 million adults in America have some form of issues deriving from social anxiety. 

Additionally, women comprise the vast majority of those who have this mental disorder, though the causes for such gender disparity remain unknown.

One thing is sure, though, as many anxiety statistics confirm — more and more teens and adults are falling prey to various forms of social anxiety by the day.

8. Four out of five adults with social anxiety disorder can develop at least one other psychiatric disorder during their lifetime.

(Unlocking Potential)

This could be one of the social anxiety scary facts, especially for the affected individuals. You’ve probably heard the saying “evil often comes in pairs” at some point.

The saying is particularly true in the case of social anxiety, as the disorder rarely appears without another similar issue (commonly known as a “comorbid” condition). 

Among the more interesting facts about social anxiety disorder is that the problem often comes hand in hand with various other conditions. Examples of such conditions include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, substance addiction, as well as nicotine dependence. 

In up to 80% of the cases, one or more of the previously mentioned comorbid conditions develop subsequently, adding further to the difficulty of the existing situation. 

9. With a 12-month prevalence rate of 6.8%, social anxiety is officially the third most common mental disorder in the US.

(Addiction Hope)

Even though many remain skeptical when it comes to the seriousness of this widespread issue, there is no denying the cold, hard social anxiety facts.

Admit it or not, social anxiety can prevent a person from living to their fullest potential, caging the sufferer in fear.

Because social anxiety is such a delicate mental health condition, learning more about it through relevant studies, social anxiety trends and statistics, and other means can have positive consequences. 

For instance, not only does knowing more about social anxiety help better understand those suffering from it, but it also helps raise awareness and improve the outcomes of treatments.

10. 12.6% of white Americans have a social anxiety disorder.

(The Recovery Village)

When it comes to race, statistics of social anxiety disorder show more whites are affected, with 12.6% of the population. The share of affected African Americans and Hispanic Americans are almost equal, with 8.6% and 8.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, slightly fewer Asian Americans (5.3%) have it. 

11. Social anxiety affects only 9% of people over the age of 60 and 31.4% of youth between the ages of 13 and 14.

(The Recovery Village)

How common is social anxiety disorder? According to a report from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 19.1% of adults suffered from an anxiety disorder throughout 12 months. At the same time, 31.1% of adults suffer from anxiety at least once in their lifetime. 

Age is a particularly exciting factor to observe, as anxiety rates vary in different age categories. When it comes to people between the ages of 18 and 29 (in other words, an example of social anxiety in college students statistics), 22.3% suffer from at least one anxiety disorder.

At the same time, the percentage of people between 30 and 44 years of age who have experience with social anxiety amounts to 22.7%. Additionally, only 20.6% of individuals between the ages of 45 and 59 suffer the same problem. 

The situation with adolescents is quite different, with 32.3% of teens between the ages of 17 and 18 having social anxiety. Additionally, the stats for teens with social anxiety show 32.1% of those between 15 and 16 years old also have the same mental health disorder.

Facts & Statistics About Social Anxiety Treatment

12. Studies show that CBD can potentially reduce social anxiety symptoms. 

(Way of Leaf)

Some studies have shown that medical marijuana has beneficial effects on patients with anxiety disorder. Participants in these studies agree they experienced lesser symptoms of social anxiety after taking CBD. This finding somewhat eases the increasingly alarming statistics on social anxiety disorder.  

13. Antidepressants successfully help only 15% of socially anxious people. 

(Social Phobia)

One study unraveled some surprising social anxiety disorder facts about medications for anxiety problems. Accordingly, these medications (i.e. antidepressants), whether short-term or long-term in usage, provide almost no relief to the vast majority of people struggling with social anxiety.

Even the so-called best medications for social anxiety put forward through massive advertising campaigns turned out to be a hoax. 

Namely, questioning both these medications and the studies that reportedly find them so helpful leads back to the same pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the medicines in the first place.

Since the studies represent a conflict of interest, their conclusions are inadmissible and highly questionable. 

Therefore, you should not put your faith in any large-scale medications.

14. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helped 85% of participants recover and improve their well-being drastically.

(Psycom)

Contrary to medications, CBT was found to be a more effective treatment for anxiety disorders, recording 85% of recovery based on social anxiety disorder stats.

But before you go into CBT, the most important thing to keep in mind is that every single person out there is different. When it comes to both medications and social anxiety, there is no universal rule that works ten times out of ten. 

When looking at treatment for social anxiety disorder, there’s a particular reason why CBT works so well. Physiologically speaking, only CBT has long-lasting effects when it comes to changing the neural pathway associations in the brain.

Changing these pathways in the first place is what causes social anxiety, among other things, which is why CBT attacks the problem at its root.

15. Only around a third (36.9%) of those suffering from social anxiety disorder ever receive adequate counseling or treatment.

(Do Something)

When it comes to social anxiety treatment, there’s a slight paradox that we must note.

On the one hand, modern medicine has a more than adequate cure for such a widespread issue in the form of CBT. On the other, a surprisingly low number of people suffering from social anxiety are going out and getting treatments to help their well-being. We can agree this is one of the not-so-fun facts about social anxiety.

The reasons for such a disparity are numerous, though social stigma tends to be among the most frequent ones. By definition, social anxiety drives people to shy away from human contact and interaction (typical examples of social anxiety coping mechanisms).

Therefore, actively seeking out help goes against the instinct of a person battling this problem. Regardless, spreading awareness about the seriousness of this mental disorder and many others like it will go a long way in encouraging people to go out and look for help.

16. People with anxiety disorders are six times more likely to end up in the hospital for psychiatric disorders, as well as three to five times more likely to visit a doctor.

(Adaa)

As far as statistics about social anxiety go, it is evident that there is much more to this mental health disorder than meets the eye. The biggest problem with any disease, in general, is its interconnection with various other issues in the human body and mind.

Social anxiety is no exception, with a significant amount of people suffering from it as an underlying condition. 

In other words, social anxiety tends to worsen other diseases in the organism, thereby increasing the odds of a person suffering much more significant and diverse forms of damage to their mind and body.

Once again, noticing any social anxiety disorder symptoms is a sure sign that you must react immediately.

Conclusion

Today, the single biggest problem when it comes to overcoming social anxiety is the lack of knowledgeable and professional therapists.

As you’ve been able to see from the previously mentioned social anxiety statistics, this mental health disorder is all but running rampant in virtually all corners of the world, and the US is no exception. 

For people suffering from such a persistent anxiety disorder, it is complicated to overcome social anxiety due to one simple reason – there is a massive lack of treatment facilities that specialize in solving such mental health disorders. 

As a result of a vast amount of research and clinical evidence, there is a cure for this mental illness. We hope you are now able to gain a better understanding and increase your level of awareness of this problem. 

Questions like “what is social anxiety disorder,” “types of social anxiety,” “history of social anxiety disorder,” as well as “social anxiety medication” are just some we tried to provide an insight into in this text. 

Always keep one thing in mind – social anxiety is no joke, and the second you notice anyone you know showing any signs of this problem, it is vital to act immediately and provide all the help you can.

Only through a timely reaction to early symptoms can you help your friends and family lead a better, more fulfilled, and healthier life. Good luck! 

FAQ

Unfortunately, social anxiety disorder has no complete cure. However, one of the interesting facts about social anxiety is that this mental health condition is manageable. There are several treatment options as we’ve mentioned above that could significantly reduce its symptoms and severity. Knowing that could somehow make one relieved and happy with their lives. 

Research confirms the strong link between social anxiety and depression. This means that people who have social anxiety disorder are highly likely to develop depression later in life. For example, teen depression statistics show that teens suffering from anxiety are prone to having depression as well. Also, the combination of the two could increase the risk of developing other related health conditions.

When looking at social anxiety causes and triggers, it’s essential to understand that these triggers may be different from one person to another. There are a plethora of situations that cause varying degrees of distress to a person with social anxiety. For example, experiencing critique or teasing, unexpectedly meeting other people, and even becoming the center of attention for whatever reason. 

Additionally, having someone observe or watch them while they act is also a trigger. Other triggers include being in a situation where people expect you to speak in a public or formal event, as well as coming into contact with authority figures and influential people. 

Moreover, being in social situations where you feel out of place and insecure can also trigger anxiety, just like meeting other people’s eyes, easily embarrassing, and even making phone calls, talking, writing, or swallowing when in public. 

Note that all of these examples can make it extremely difficult to perform daily tasks, including finding a job with social anxiety (which, for many, is an impossible task). Therefore, the question of how to deal with social anxiety represents the quintessential issue they deal with daily.

There are different ways to answer this question. While it’s true that comparing the difference in various age groups can provide ample insight into the matter, there are many other ways to explain just how many people have social anxiety

For example, over the course of 12 months, an anxiety disorder struck 19.1% of adults, courtesy of a report from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Additional conclusions we’re able to draw from the same report reveal that, over the course of their lifetime, 31.1% of adults suffer from anxiety at least once.

Furthermore, different age categories allow us to observe the interesting difference in anxiety disorders depending on age. Social phobia statistics also show at least one anxiety disorder plagues 22.3% of people between the ages of 18 and 29. 

But it doesn’t end there – 22.7% of people between 33 and 40 years of age have had at least one experience with an anxiety episode. The same problem, however, persists with just 20.6% of those between 45 and 59 years of age. 

On the other end of the spectrum, social anxiety affects around a third of adolescents between the ages of 17 and 18 (32.3%, to be precise). 

The situation, unfortunately, doesn’t improve in 15- and 16-year olds, either. Around 32.1% of youth within this age group suffer the consequences and effects of the same mental health disorder.

No matter how you look at it, it’s clear that the younger a person is, the more at risk they are from any type of mental health disorders, including, but not limited to, social anxiety and depression.

While there are numerous criteria for determining whether a person has social anxiety, there are ones that require regular examination. The very first thing your doctor will try to decide is whether you have social anxiety disorder along with other mental or physical health disorders, or if other conditions may be causing your anxiety.

In doing so, your physician may determine a diagnosis according to any or all of the following factors (some of which we’ve covered in the previous social anxiety statistics).

He may begin with a simple discussion of your general symptoms, asking questions like what type of situations they appear in, as well as how often. Your doctor may also conduct a physical exam to understand better if your symptoms of anxiety may be the result of any medication or medical condition.

He may also ask you to fill out a self-report questionnaire detailing your social anxiety symptoms. At the same time, he may go through a list of situations with you to assess whether they trigger your anxiety. 

Most typically, however, your physician will, at some point, check the criteria listed in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), courtesy of the American Psychiatric Association.