Social anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent fear of social or performance situations, with worry about potential examination or embarrassment. Individuals with social anxiety disorder typically feel extremely anxious about being the focus of attention, and often avoid social and performance situations. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) relies on exposure (regular and stepwise practice with sensations or events that a person finds frightening) to help treat people with social phobia.
This study is designed to test whether medication can help exposure work more effectively. Participants will receive a diagnostic evaluation and five sessions of CBT. Assessments will be conducted at 1-month and 6-months following the last treatment session. We expect to enroll 40 participants at Southern Methodist University, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Boston University's Center of Anxiety and Related Disorders.