Emerging Treatments for Child and Adolescent Social Phobia: AReview
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Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia (SP), is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive fear of exposure to situations that involve potential scrutiny by others. SP is a common psychiatric problem in children and adolescents, often presenting with comorbid anxiety and mood disorders. Although the onset of SP is typically in late childhood or early adolescence, most afflicted individuals go undiagnosed for years, not seeking treatment until adulthood. First-line treatments for SP in adults support the use of pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. There is new and emerging data in youths with SP to support the use of similar treatments. This paper will review the clinical characteristics, epidemiology, and treatment of SP in youths. Current investigations using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors in youths will be reviewed. Several studies on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in youths will also be examined. Practical guidelines for clinicians who treat children and adolescents are also presented.
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