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Professor Borwin Bandelow sat with us to talk about social anxiety disorder and its debilitating impact on the lives of those with the condition.
"People with social anxiety disorder have a fear of social situations and being judged unfavourably, going beyond shyness and impacting on their social and occupational functioning and quality of life."
When diagnosing social anxiety disorder, Professor Bandelow recommends differentiating it from other closely related anxiety disorders, such as panic or generalized anxiety disorders, as well as psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Since people with social anxiety disorder may rely on alcohol to relieve social anxiety, he also recommends screening for substance abuse disorders. Finally, Professor Bandelow cautioned that people with social anxiety disorder may be at increased risk of isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.