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Supplement Article

Social Anxiety Disorder: Comorbidity and Its Implications

R. Bruce Lydiard

Published: January 1, 2001

Article Abstract

Social anxiety disorder is an extremely common and potentially disabling psychiatric disorder.Generalized social anxiety disorder, a subtype of the disorder, is believed to be the most common andmost severe form. It is also the form that is most often associated with other psychiatric disorders.Unless the clinician has a high index of suspicion, social anxiety disorder may remain undetected. Theclinical and treatment implications of the most common psychiatric comorbidities associated withsocial anxiety disorder are discussed in this article, with a focus on major depression, panic disorder,posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol abuse/dependence. Other psychiatric disorders and somemedical conditions commonly associated with social anxiety disorder are briefly mentioned. Finally, adifferential diagnosis of social anxiety disorder is described. Individuals who present for treatment ofother anxiety disorders, mood disorders, or alcohol/substance abuse disorders should be considered atrisk for current but undetected social anxiety disorder.

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