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10 March 2004

Myths and facts about social phobia

Social phobia is often misunderstood. Read about the myths surrounding this disorder.

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Social phobia is often misunderstood. Here are some of the myths surrounding this disorder.

Myth:
Feeling anxious about social situations is simply a reflection of ordinary shyness. It is nothing to worry about.

Fact:
Social phobia is a medical disorder that can be associated with significant distress and even occupational and social dysfunction.

Myth:
Fear of social situations is a result of low self-esteem. People grow out of it as they become more self-confident.

Fact:
People with social phobia are simply unable to control what they know to be irrational fears. This may lead to low self-esteem.

Myth:

Fear of social situations is best treated by simply "pulling oneself together" or by "talking things out" with someone.

Fact:
Social phobia is best treated by medication and specific psychotherapy techniques.

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