What You Need To Know About Social OCD

What You Need To Know About Social OCD

Social OCD, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that affects how a person interacts with others. People with social OCD often feel anxious and uncomfortable in social situations and may worry about embarrassing themselves or being judged by others. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of social OCD and offer some tips for managing the condition.

What Is Social OCD?

What Is Social OCD?Social OCD, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of social situations. People with this condition feel extremely anxious about being judged or evaluated negatively by others in social settings.

They may have an irrational fear of embarrassing themselves in front of others and this fear can lead to avoidance behaviors. It is simply defined as an excessive fear of being embarrassed, ridiculed, or judged in social situations.

The estimate of social OCD among adults is around 7%. It can affect people of any age, but it’s more common in adolescents and younger adults. If you feel that you are affected by Social OCD, it is important to get help.

What Are Some Common Symptoms?

People with social OCD experience symptoms such as:

  • Feeling extremely self-conscious in social situations and worrying about how others perceive them.
  • Avoiding or minimizing interaction with people out of fear or embarrassment.
  • Experiencing intrusive thoughts about being judged or humiliated in public.
  • Worrying excessively about making mistakes and not meeting social standards.

These symptoms are generally categorized into two distinct types of social OCD:

  1. Performance-related
  2. Relationship-centered

Performance-related symptoms are related to feelings of anxiety about performing in a certain way or situation, such as making mistakes or not living up to expectations. Relationship-centered symptoms center around the fear of being rejected or judged by others.

Therefore, if you experience any of the above symptoms on a frequent or intense basis, you may be suffering from social OCD. It is important to seek professional help so that you can receive the support and treatment needed to manage your condition.

What Causes Social OCD?

What Causes Social OCD?It is essential to be aware of the potential causes of this type of OCD to gain a better understanding of the disorder. So, here are a few common causes listed below:

  • Genetics: Research suggests a link between social anxiety and genetic factors, meaning that if you have a family history of mental health disorders, you may be more likely to experience this type of OCD.
  • Trauma: When individuals are exposed to traumatic experiences, this can trigger the development of social OCD. Examples include assault, abuse, or witnessing a traumatic event.
  • Environment: External factors such as bullying, negative relationships, and lack of love can all contribute to the development of social OCD.
  • Brain Chemistry: Abnormalities in serotonin levels can affect an individual’s ability to manage and regulate their emotions, which may lead to social OCD.

These are generally some of the most common causes associated with this type of OCD, however, it is important to note that no two cases are the same. Everyone’s experience of social OCD and its causes will be unique.

Possible Triggers

In addition to these causes, social OCD is triggered by some potential environmental and emotional factors.

  1. Social Anxiety: Individuals with social anxiety are likely to experience more severe symptoms of this type of OCD compared to those who do not suffer from the disorder.
  2. Stressful Situations: Stress, whether it be from everyday life or an unexpected event, can worsen an individual’s symptoms of social OCD.
  3. Unrealistic Expectations: When individuals set unrealistic standards for themselves or someone else, this can trigger an episode of this type of OCD.

These are just a few examples of potential triggers that can increase the severity of an individual’s symptoms. It is important to be aware of what may trigger episodes to gain better control over one’s symptoms.

How Does It Impact Everyday Life?

There are a variety of ways in which this type of OCD can make everyday life more challenging. Some of the consequences include:

  1. Feeling a heightened sense of anxiety around strangers, leading to avoidance of social settings or activities.
  2. Developing negative thoughts about yourself and feeling like you are not good enough for other people.
  3. Experiencing intrusive thoughts that can distract from daily tasks or sabotage relationships with others.
  4. Spending excessive amounts of time obsessing over what others think of you, believing that everyone is judging or criticizing you.
  5. Struggling to make decisions due to the fear of making a mistake and being judged by others.
  6. Having difficulty connecting with people emotionally, leading to feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

These are very common to some degree in all of us, but when they become excessive and start impacting our lives in a negative way, that’s when we need to be aware.

Therefore, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the fear of being judged and find yourself avoiding social interaction or struggling to make friends, it may be time to seek professional help.

How Do You Treat Social OCD?

When it comes to treating social OCD, there are several options, some of these are:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

It is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying and changing thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are causing distress. This is a form of therapy that may be beneficial for those with social OCD as it helps people recognize and challenge their irrational thoughts, become more aware of their behavior, and gain insight into their emotions.

Exposure and response prevention

This is a type of therapy in which individuals are exposed to the source of anxiety or fear (in this case social situations) and then taught to resist engaging in the behaviors they typically do to reduce their anxiety, such as avoiding people or situations.


In some cases, medication can be used to treat this type of OCD. Commonly prescribed medications include those that are used for depression and/or anxiety, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is important to speak with a doctor about the best treatment for you.]

Herbal supplements

In some cases, herbal supplements for this type of OCD are considered a part of the treatment. Herbal supplements such as 5-HTP, passionflower, kava, and valerian root can all be useful for reducing anxiety and/or depression symptoms. Because they work differently in each person, it is important to speak with a doctor before taking any herbal supplement.

Self-help strategies

Self-help strategiesFinally, this is the most important form of treatment for social OCD and should be the first step in managing your condition. Self-help strategies include:

  • relaxation techniques
  • mindfulness exercises
  • journaling to identify triggers and thoughts that lead to anxiety or fear

Additionally, it is important to work on self-acceptance and challenge negative thoughts that may arise. It is also helpful to have a support system of trusted family and friends who can provide emotional support. Finally, it is important to remember that recovery is possible with the right help and dedication.

With patience and perseverance, you can learn to manage this type of OCD and live a more fulfilling life. Good luck on your journey to managing social OCD!


To conclude, social OCD may seem daunting, but with the right help and support, it can be managed. Seek advice from a qualified mental health professional if you think you are struggling with social OCD. With the right treatment plan, your symptoms can be reduced or eliminated altogether. Although this type of OCD is common, it is not something you have to live with forever.

Reach out for help today and for more information and guidance, please contact OCDMantra. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatmentERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session