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Letters to the Editor
February 2000

Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder: What's in a Name?

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000;57(2):191-192. doi:

Social phobia was originally described as a fear of specific social situations, such as public speaking, eating in front of others, or using public restrooms.1 It was described as infrequent and rarely associated with meaningful impairment. Initial indifference to social phobia led one of us to call it "the neglected anxiety disorder."2 Two decades later, those of us who work with social phobia recognize it as a chronic3,4 and highly prevalent5 disorder often associated with serious impairment.68 However, this message has yet to be widely embraced.

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