Treating Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

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One of the most common disorders in the United States is social anxiety. Adults have a 28% chance to be affected by an anxiety disorder sometime in their life. Most of the people affected do not seek treatment, but those that do often get treated ineffectively. In “Differentiating Emotions Across Contexts: Comparing Adults With and Without Social Anxiety Disorder Using Random, Social Interactions, and Daily Experience Sampling,” the researchers tested a theory to better treat and manage social anxiety.

The most popular hypothesis researchers predicted was that social anxiety disorder would affect a person’s ability to identify different negative emotions and would negatively correlate with their social skills. Researchers also thought that average emotion intensity and variability would not be a factor of how well a person can identify negative emotions. Finally, they believed a lack of negative emotion differentiations can be caused by only social anxiety and not due to comorbid disorders.

In order to find candidates for the study, researchers used online advertisements and bulletin board flyers in the Northern Virginia community. When a person responded to the advertisements, they had to give verbal consent to undergo phone screens to test for anxiety, depression, functional impairment, suicidality and psychosis symptoms. If the phone screens demonstrated high levels of anxiety, the candidates had to meet with psychologists to take the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and the S.A.D. module of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV: Lifetime version. Ultimately, any one that had signs of suicidality, psychosis or substance abuse were not able to participate. This result...

... middle of paper ... enticing because the number one issue that people with anxiety struggle with is the etiquette of socializing. It is like everyone else has the rulebook of socializing branded in the brain and people affected with SAD feel horrible because they keep getting rejected socially. Basically, they need to develop a social boot camp to teach people with anxiety how to engage and interact with other people so they know that they aren’t totally hopeless. This article was truly fascinating and it would be interesting to see the future developments to treating SAD.

Works Cited

Kashdan, T. B., & Farmer, A. S. (2014, February 10). Differentiating Emotions Across Contexts: Comparing Adults With and Without Social Anxiety Disorder Using Random, Social Interaction, and Daily Experience Sampling. Emotion. Advance online publication.
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