Harvard Mental Health Letter

Treating social anxiety disorder

Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for most patients, while medication strategies depend on whether the disorder is generalized or specific.

Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders. Although sometimes dismissed as shyness, social anxiety disorder can cause crippling fear that interferes with school attendance, work performance, and relationships. It affects about 7% of Americans in any given year, and about 12% at some point in their lives.

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