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Epidemiology

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • estimates of lifetime prevalence vary but according to a US study, 12% of adults in the US will have social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, compared with estimates of around 6% for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), 5% for panic disorder, 7% for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 2% for obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • significant degree of comorbidity between social anxiety disorder and other mental health problems, most notably depression (19%), substance-use disorder (17%), GAD (5%), panic disorder (6%), and PTSD (3%)

  • social anxiety disorder has an early median age of onset (13 years) and is one of the most persistent anxiety disorders
    • only about half of those with the disorder ever seek treatment, and those who do generally only seek treatment after 15-20 years of symptoms
    • a significant number of people who develop social anxiety disorder in adolescence may recover before reaching adulthood
    • if the disorder has persisted into adulthood, the chance of recovery in the absence of treatment is modest when compared with many other common mental health problems

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