Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) you are probably searching for information to better understand what the diagnosis means and how it impacts daily living. Below are a number of articles to help you gain a better understanding, make positive improvements and even test your knowledge about the disorder. Start here to gain a better understanding of social anxiety disorder and what it means to live with it every day.


History of Social Anxiety Disorder

Shy woman hiding behind her hand, and peeking one eye out.
Volanthevist / Moment [Getty Images]

Are you interested in learning more about the history of social anxiety disorder? Here is a timeline of events in the development of today's diagnosis. Written accounts of shyness and social anxiety date back to 400 B.C. But it was not until 1980 that social phobia was included as a recognized disorder in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Follow the timeline and you will learn about the significant events in the evolution of this diagnosis.


What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Are you looking for a good starting point to learn more about social anxiety disorder? This article touches on every aspect of the problem, including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, prevalence, treatment (both therapy and medication) and coping strategies. Each section contains links to more in-depth articles about these individual topics. If you are just starting to learn about SAD, this is a good place to begin gathering knowledge.


10 Things to Know About Social Anxiety Disorder

The top 10 things you should know about social anxiety disorder include:

  • Prevalence in different cultures
  • Prevalence in men and women
  • Relation to other disorders
  • Types of social anxiety
  • Potential causes
  • Effectiveness of treatments

A Day in the Life of Someone With Social Anxiety Disorder

Does someone you know have social anxiety disorder? If so, you might find it hard to step into her shoes and see the world through her eyes. If you don't suffer from social anxiety yourself it can be hard to understand what it feels like. The purpose of this article is to show you the world through the eyes of someone with social anxiety disorder. It touches on the typical fears and avoidance patterns that someone might engage in. It is presented in the first person voice to really give you a feel for what it is like to live with this problem.


Myths About Social Anxiety Disorder

Most myths about SAD are centered around the theme that it does not really exist. People who don't believe in the disorder argue that it is "just shyness" that is being pathologized. In fact, social anxiety disorder is a common psychological problem that often goes undiagnosed because people are too fearful to ask for help. Those who argue that the disorder does not exist are doing a great disservice to all those who suffer in silence.


Take the Social Anxiety Disorder Knowledge Quiz

Have you done your reading about social anxiety disorder? Great! Now, it's time to take the SAD quiz and see just how much you know. This quiz covers every possible topic about the disorder; the results will show you where you might need to do some more reading. The quiz also gives you the option of selecting the level of difficulty.


10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself If You Have Social Anxiety Disorder

We all do things in life that we know we shouldn't do. People with social anxiety disorder also engage in self-sabotage to some extent. Most of these behaviors center around your thoughts and predictions of failure. It is possible to overcome this problem and many of the behaviors that are holding you back. Here are 10 things to stop doing to yourself if you suffer from social anxiety disorder.


11 Things to Start Doing for Yourself If You Have Social Anxiety Disorder

Once you have learned what to stop doing, you need to become better at those things you should be doing. Most of the things that you should be doing involve taking action, being kinder to yourself and keeping track of your progress. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Here are 11 things to start doing for yourself today if you have social anxiety disorder.

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