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Social Anxiety, More Than Normal Shyness

There is a distinction, fuzzy as it may be in the middle of the anxiety spectrum, between social anxiety and shyness. It turns out that shyness is a fairly common characteristic, shared by a large percentage of people. Nearly everyone feels shy at times or in certain situations. However, when anxiety, tension, and avoidance surrounding social situations starts to interfere with normal functioning, it may be time to assess for a social anxiety disorder. The link to the articl below does a really nice job of summarizing some recent research. This new study indicates the relatively high rate of shyness (nearly 50%!) in a sample of teenagers contrasted with the relatively low rates of clinical social anxiety (about 10%).

You can get the article here.

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    Nearly half of teenagers say they're shy, perhaps a bit surprising in our say-anything society. But a government study finds a small fraction of those teens show signs of a troubling anxiety disorder that can be mistaken for extreme shyness.

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