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Advances and Emerging Treatments in Social Phobia

Social Anxiety Disorder: An Unrecognized Problem in Primary Care

David J. Katzelnick and John H. Greist

Published: January 1, 2001

Article Abstract

Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is one of the most common mental disorders, yet it remainsunderrecognized and undertreated. Individuals with social anxiety disorder frequently havepsychiatric comorbidity, including mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, that can further impaira person’s ability to function. This article reviews the literature on social anxiety disorder andexplores questions regarding its prevalence, rates of recognition and treatment, and natural history.The association between social anxiety disorder and psychiatric comorbidity and suicide is reviewed,as well as quality-of-life issues, including the impact of social anxiety disorder on educational attainment,occupational functioning and financial dependency, marital status, and health care utilization.There is a need for further study and greater awareness among primary health care providers about theprevalence and treatment of social anxiety disorder.

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