Washington: A Rhode Island Hospital researcher has explored the variances between normal shyness and social anxiety disorder.Kristy L. Dalrymple, Ph.D., of the department of psychiatry, also discusses the differing beliefs of over, and under-, diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and its treatment options.“There are many differing opinions about social anxiety disorder and the best treatment,” Dalrymple said.“Should it be treated with medication, behavioral therapy, or both? The significant increase in the prescription of antidepressant medications (which often are used to treat SAD) over the past several years – an increase of 400 percent -- should be considered when determining the best approach. Are we simply medicating, or are we helping patients to truly improve their quality of life?” she noted.SAD is defined as a fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social situations to the point that these situations often are avoided or endured with a significant amount of distress.
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