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15 Million Americans Suffer From Social Anxiety Disorder
Date:4/9/2008

anxiety, 276 people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and 287 people with social anxiety disorder.

Among people with the disorder, 75 percent said the condition affected their ability to do normal activities. In addition, 69 percent said they didn't want people to think they were crazy, and 58 percent said they were embarrassed by their condition, Ross said.

However, when the condition is diagnosed and treated, many reported improvement in their lives. In fact, 59 percent who were receiving treatment said treatment had a positive effect on their ability to have a romantic relationship. In addition, 39 percent who had received treatment said knowing that treatment can be successful aided their decision to get help, Ross noted.

The disorder can be effectively treated. Among the techniques that have been successful is cognitive behavior therapy, which helps people get a sense of control over their lives, Ross said.

In addition, relaxation techniques and medications have also been effective. Combination therapy that includes behavior therapy and medications has also been effective. Commonly prescribed medications include various types of antidepressants.

Among other key survey findings were:

  • Thirty-four percent reported that their condition caused serious fights with their significant others.
  • Seventy-seven percent said the disorder negatively impacted their romantic relationships.
  • Thirty-five percent said having social anxiety disorder made them avoid intimacy.
  • Twenty-four percent reported that the disorder resulted in their significant other not respecting them.
  • Fifty-five percent said they had no close friends.
  • Sixty-six percent reported having misunderstandings with friends, and 50 percent said they did not tell their friends about their symptoms.
  • More than 60 percent didn't keep in touch with friends or answer or return their phone
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15 Million Americans Suffer From Social Anxiety Disorder
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