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What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder affects more than 15 million Americans of all ages, races, and cultures, and it may be present in children as well as adults. This disorder is an intense fear of being negatively judged by others.

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 1 (of 6): The Power of Anxiety

Licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, and other therapists can successfully treat disabling anxiety disorders. 

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 2 (of 6): Treatment and Recovery: One Patient's Story

A young woman with OCD learns how to manage her OCD and finds out it no longer controls her.

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 3 (of 6): Medications and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Methods clinicians use to treat anxiety disorders: medications (psychopharmacology), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), complementary treatments.

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 4 (of 6): What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

A licensed clinical social worker describes how cognitive-behavioral therapy effectively treats anxiety.

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 5 (of 6): Implementing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Details about how to implement cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating anxiety, specifically using exposure and response prevention (ERP), cognitive restructuring, behavioral experiments (exposure to anxiety triggers)

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Treating Anxiety Disorders, Part 6 (of 6): Complementary Approaches

How complementary approaches to treating anxiety can be effective, including family therapy, mindfulness (acceptance), exercise, yoga, and breathing.

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Understanding PTSD

PTSD is an illness that people may develop months after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, including a terrorist attack like 9/11; combat; earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster; serious auto or plane accidents; personal assault or abuse; or the sudden death of a loved one.

Funding for this video provided by a grant from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP)

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Anna Clendening Finds Her Voice

Anna Clendening found her voice and faced thousands of people and a national audience on America’s Got Talent in 2014. She had suffered from panic disorder and depression for six years, at times unable to get out of bed or leave her house.

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Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults

Adults with social anxiety disorder often feel alone and ashamed, and they may have few or no social or romantic relationships. People may have more than one anxiety disorder, as well as depression. Seek the help of a qualified health professional if you feel your anxieties are disrupting your daily life.

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Social Anxiety Disorder in Children and Teens

The typical age of onset is 13 years old, but children younger than 8 or 9 can also suffer. Symptoms may be so extreme that they disrupt daily life. Children, adolescents, and teens with this disorder may have few or no friends. They may not participate in class or play at recess.

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Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment

A health professional can provide a diagnosis and individualized treatment plan for social anxiety disorder. Both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication are scientifically proven effective treatments. Your therapist should be able to discuss how long it will take for you to begin to experience relief.

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Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Those with social anxiety disorder experience an intense fear of being scrutinized and negatively evaluated by others in social or performance situations. Some literally feel sick. Physical symptoms commonly include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea or other gastrointestinal distress, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, headaches, and feelings of detachment and loss of self-control.

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My Age of Anxiety

Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Scott Stossel, author of My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind, presents the history and efforts to understand an affliction that is pervasive yet often misunderstood. Watch his conversation with talk show host Mimi Geerges.

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Anxiety and Depression Conference Endorsements

Why is the Anxiety and Depression Conference a must-attend event? Find out what psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, clinicians, and others say about their experiences in 2013 and the benefits they find so useful.

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Drs. Jasper Smits and Mark Powers Encourage ADAA Conference Attendance

2014 Conference Co-Chairs Mark Powers, PhD, and Jasper Smits, PhD, University of Texas at Austin, describe the invaluable experience of attending the conference:

  • Good balance of clinical topics across anxiety and depression
  • Emphasis on implementation of practical skills for new and experienced clinicians
  • Unique opportunity to meet and hear leaders and experts
  • Senior leaders are accessible and available to talk to you about your career, practice, and research.
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Glass People

In "Glass People," filmmakers John Berardo and Brian Frager, USC School of Cinematic Arts, illustrate college-age anxiety and the great value of finding professional help.
This short film premiered at the 2013 Anxiety and Depression Conference in La Jolla, California.

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Dr. Luana Marques: Why You Should Attend the ADAA Conference

Luana Marques, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts and an expert in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for a wide range of psychiatric disorders.

She is the senior clinical psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders program, an Assistant Professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the MGH Hispanic Clinical and Research Program.

In addition to her extensive clinical expertise, Dr. Marques also has an active research career at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Dr. Simon Rego: What I Like About ADAA and the Annual Conference

Simon A. Rego, PsyD, ABPP, ACT, is board certified in cognitive-behavioral psychology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. His clinical expertise is in the cognitive-behavioral assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders, mood and sleep disorders, and body-focused repetitive disorders. A current member of the ADAA Board of Directors, he has been an ADAA member since  2007.

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Douglas Mennin, PhD: Why I Like the ADAA Annual Conference

Douglas Mennin, PhD, focuses his work on understanding and treating chronic and recurring bouts of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly worry, stress, and depression. A member of the ADAA Scientific Council, he has attended 16 ADAA Annual Conferences.

Dr. Mennin is an associate professor of psychology at CUNY Hunter College, and previously he developed and directed the Yale Anxiety and Mood Services Clinic. 

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