Social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment.
Social anxiety disorder (SOC) is characterized by marked and persistent fear of one or more social performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny. The person fears that she or he might act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Children and adolescents with this disorder often have great impairment in their academic performance, social skills, peer relationships, and family life. Early diagnosis is vital. Primary care providers are in a unique situation to first diagnose and treat SOC in children and adolescents. There is evidence of successful pharmacologic and psychosocial treatment in pediatric SOC. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are considered first-line medications for SOC, have shown promising results in open-label and double-blind trials. Studies have demonstrated that psychosocial treatments, specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapy, are efficacious in pediatric SOC. There is some evidence that the use of combination therapy, both pharmacology and psychosocial treatment, is beneficial in the management of pediatric SOC.
Khalid-Khan, S; Santibanez, M-P; McMicken, C; Rynn, MA
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