Is that nervous feeling social anxiety disorder, or is it simply a case of being shy?
Most people are faced with embarrassment or humiliation at some point in their lives. Maybe they get nervous before a big presentation to the bosses at work. Maybe they get a bit anxious thinking about approaching an attractive stranger at a party. But where is the line between normal shyness and social anxiety disorder?
Rhode Island Hospital researcher Kristy L. Dalrymple, Ph.D., of the department of psychiatry, explores the variances between the two, and discusses the differing beliefs of over, and under-, diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and its treatment options in a paper published in the Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.
"There are many differing opinions about social anxiety disorder and the best treatment," Dalrymple said. "Should it be treated with medication, behavioral therapy, or both? The significant increase in the prescription of antidepressant medications (which often are used to treat SAD) over the past several years – an increase of 400 percent—should be considered when determining the best approach. Are we simply medicating, or are we helping patients to truly improve their quality of life?"
SAD is defined as a fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social situations to the point that these situations often are avoided or endured with a significant amount of distress. Studies have shown that it is the fourth most common mental disorder in the U.S., with a prevalence rate as high as 13 percent in the general population of Western countries, and as high as 30 percent within those who are seeking mental health treatment. It also has been well documented in previous studies that those who suffer from social anxiety disorder often suffer from other psychiatric disorders as well, such as mood, other anxiety and substance use disorders.
SAD can have a significant impact on an individual's personal and professional life. It is associated with lower levels of educational attainment, single marital status and unemployment. It also is associated with fewer days worked and reduced work productivity, and as a result, with substantial economic costs.
One of the barriers to treatment is the ability to accurately diagnose SAD, as those who suffer from the disorder may be reluctant to admit it due to the fear of humiliation, or embarrassment about seeking help. Despite decades of research, no definitive cause has been identified, and further study is warranted.
"Despite its prevalence, social anxiety disorder has not received the same attention from the public or mainstream media as other disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder," Dalrymple said. "Due to its social and economic impact, it merits further study in order to help researchers and clinicians determine possible causes, and the best treatment.
"This isn't about overcoming shyness," she continued. "This is about helping our patients who suffer from a disorder that prevents them from living a happy and healthy life."
Provided by Lifespan
- Obese individuals can suffer from social anxiety disorder due to weight alone Apr 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Research finds cognitive-behavioral therapy effective in combatting anxiety disorders Jun 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Social anxiety disorder puts welfare recipients at risk for economic hardship Jan 08, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Childhood anxiety disorders can and should be treated Dec 24, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Primary care doctors fail to recognize anxiety disorders Feb 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Do ethicists engage in better moral behavior than other professors? The answer is no. Nor are they more likely than nonethicists to act according to values they espouse, according to researchers from the ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—The monstrous tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday, killing dozens of adults and children, is a stunning example of violent weather that can affect a child's mental well-being.
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Youth who had a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide, according to a study in published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This effect can last 2 years or mo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Italian lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a law that allows limited use of a controversial type of stem cell therapy which has been condemned by many scientists but has given hope to families of terminally-ill ...
55 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Beta-blockers, normally used for high blood pressure, could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapies in treating neuroblastoma, a type of children's cancer, according to a new study published in the British Jo ...
25 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, or exercise more often than the general population, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday)
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A Japanese cancer specialist said Wednesday she has started the world's first clinical trial of a powerful, non-surgical, short-term radiation therapy for breast cancer.
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
New research at The University of Nottingham aimed at preventing harmful blood clots associated with heart disease and stroke has recently received a major funding boost from the British Heart Foundation.
41 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0