Social phobia, better known as social anxiety disorder is one of the more common phobias and is characterized by fear of public humiliation.
A lot of people get nervous in big occasions such as reading in front of a big crowd, giving speeches, having to walk down the aisle in your own wedding, dancing or performing in public and this fear could have been brought about by a traumatic event in the past where one might have been humiliated or embarrassed. People get extremely anxious in a crowd and may be characterized as being introverts, loners, or aloof. They will try to avoid interacting with many people, will avoid social events where they feel they will be put in the center of attention such as parties, and will prefer living alone.
Another cause that researchers have found is decreased serotonin levels in the brain and is also linked to depression.
People with this phobia will exhibit symptoms of anxiety when put in a public place. They may have palpitations, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, or they feel like running away.
These group of patients may benefit from antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Psychotherapy also plays a big role in this type of phobia. People can also be introduced to a small crowd initially and later, as they become more comfortable, they can be gradually be introduced to a bigger crowd, one day at a time.