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Social Anxiety Disorder


What is it?
Do I have it?
Causes
Diagnosing
Evolution
Help
Speaking With a Professional
Test Your Knowledge

Glossary of Terms

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Social Anxiety / Social Phobia




Is Social Phobia a Disease?
Histórias de humilhações conduzem à Fobia Social?
Fobia Social tem cura?
Qual é o tratamento usado na Fobia Social?
Existe uma psicoterapia mais eficaz do que as outras para a Fobia Social?
Os remédios dão bons resultados na Fobia Social?
A Fobia Social é hereditária?
Uma pessoa com Fobia Social é insegura? >




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Is Social Phobia a Disease?


Social Phobia is classified in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (CID-10), as an anxious disorder. Thus, this classification speaks of Social Phobia inserted into a wider group of Anxious Disorders. The expression "disease" has been abandoned by several areas of medicine, including Psychiatry. At times it is used more as a force of habit rather than intentionally.

On the other hand, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, (DSM-IV), produced by the American Psychiatry Association, also has the expression Social Phobia, but it has introduced right next to it the expression Social Anxiety Disorder. In DSM-IV, this condition is part of the Anxiety Disorder.



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Do Histories of Humiliation Lead to Social Anxiety Disorder?


Humiliating experiences, especially in public, or if they come to public knowledge and are repeated, potentially contain elements capable of generating a Social Anxiety nucleus. On the one hand, humiliation, not necessarily physical aggression (it may be just verbal), contributes to self-depreciation and self-devaluing. On the other hand, the action of the one who humiliates contributes to the humiliated person’s formation of the concept of the "other" as strong and aggressive. Through the generalization process, one's self-concept becomes impregnated with little personal value and the impression of impotence in relation to anyone. This combination of a feeling of personal fragility and the perception of the other as being strong and hostile is very common in Social Anxiety Disorder.



Is there a Cure for Social Phobia?


Social Phobia can be eliminated by psychotherapy, even if the existence of genetic or biochemical factors associated to the psychological process is admitted. Given the fact that anxiety is very high, panic attacks being common, medication may be needed.





What is the treatment used in Social Anxiety Disorder?


There are many treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder, but those most frequently used are in the categories of medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Several types of medication and of psychotherapy approaches are used.



Is there one psychotherapy which is more effective than others for Social Phobia?


No. It cannot be said that one approach is more effective than the others for Social Anxiety Disorder. Even though some therapists say so, there is no scientific proof of it. The hard fact is that there is no time-honored tradition in the different schools of psychotherapy, except for some exceptions, of assessing treatment outcomes. This is also due to the difficulty of having reliable instruments to carry out such measurements.

It is very common to hail good results based on the observation of former clients. Although worthy of respect, this is not a scientific instrument.

On the other hand, it is observed that, whatever the school followed by a psychotherapist, her results will differ from those secured by another therapist using the same approach. This shows that client evolution relates to other variables not foreseen in that school of psychotherapy.





Do medications yield good results in Social Phobia?


Yes, many medications yield good results, and all over the world sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder are being treated exclusively with them. On the other hand, medications are ineffective in a small percentage of persons, due to special metabolic conditions of a genetic nature. Many professionals, the author of this website among them, prefer an association of medication and psychotherapy.





Is Social Phobia hereditary?


There is no proof that Social Phobia is hereditary. Some epidemiologic data suggest it, but there are not enough elements to warrant a conclusion. The same occurrence in one of the parents cannot be regarded as evidence. A person's self-concept, values, and beliefs, as well as many current feelings and emotions, may have their roots in childhood, when the self was being formed.



Is a Person with Social Phobia Insecure?


Social Anxiety Disorder generates great uncertainty. The person knows that, all of a sudden, she may face a hazardous situation. Even though the person puts up defenses and avoids social contacts as much as possible, life and obligations do not always make this practice possible. Thus, anxiety attacks end up occurring. Most sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder live in a permanent hazardous state.



Articles on Social Anxiety Disorder / Social Phobia and Shyness:

Basic Articles:

Self-Concept/Self- Actualization – Shyness Nucleus

Self-concept, Body Image, Self-depreciation and Shyness

Shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder: Neurophysiological Approach

Shyness Articles:

What Is Shyness? Fear, Anxiety, Anguish?

Questions and Answers on Shyness

Humiliation Stories, School Spankings: Examples of Shyness Causes

Social Anxiety Disorder Articles:

Social Anxiety Disorder: What It Is, The Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Social Anxiety Attacks: Incidence, Onset, History, Evolution

Social Phobia / Anxiety Disorder: Treatment

Social Phobia / Anxiety Disorder: Differential Diagnosis

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Medications in Social Phobia: Side Effects

Antidepressants Tricyclics: Side Effects

Metabolic Pathways Individual Differences and Medications Side Effects

Genetic Changes: Medications Side Effects

First Line Antidepressants - Side Effects
Social Anxiety and Shyness Articles:

Panic Disorder, Shyness, Social Phobia - Differences

Why Self-Help in Shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder / Social Phobia Doesn’t Help You

Shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder: Medication Action

Facial Blushing, Redness of the Face, Ears and Neck

Psychoses, Shyness and Social Phobia




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