Severe shyness in youth may become debilitating in adulthood.
Social phobia is increasingly viewed as a mental disability that is both treatable and preventable.
Social phobia goes beyond shyness: It is the extreme fear and avoidance of social situations. It is common in adults and children and is extremely debilitating, according to psychiatrists Deborah C. Beidel and Samuel M. Turner, authors of Shy Children, Phobic Adults.
Social phobia is more prevalent than once thought: Some 8% of adults and 5% of children suffer from social phobias at some time in their lives, and social phobia is the third most common mental disorder in the United States, after …