social anxiety - third largest mental health condition

Approximately 7% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety disorder*

Social Anxiety is the third largest mental health care problem in the world today.  Alcoholism is first, depression is second, and social anxiety is third.   Social anxiety causes chronic anxiety and fear over social situations.  It prevents people from leading the life they want; it stops them from taking the job they are good at doing; it prevents them from having friends and relationships, even though they want them.  Social anxiety destroys lives.  Yet it can be fully overcome with appropriate, active, structured, cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Please read over our pages on social anxiety disorder (formerly called "social phobia").

In these pages you will find:

A definition of social anxiety disorder

Current news concerning social anxiety and its treatment, including work done on this website

An invitation to join a free moderated mailing list edited specifically for people with social anxiety disorder

An invitation to join in our Facebook social anxiety community.

A listing of cognitive-behavioral therapy groups for social anxiety throughout the world.  Unfortunately, after all this time, very few actual therapy groups exist.

Cognitive-behavioral (rational) therapy groups will be linked if they meet our guidelines.  Perhaps you would like to start one.

Graduate students or licensed therapists interested in running therapy groups for social anxiety?  Program initiatives are underway to be announced here.


Help for running a social anxiety therapy group:


- Doing it in the right way so that people learn to overcome social anxiety.
- The Social Anxiety Association will encourage and provide help for running structured CBT social anxiety therapy groups, whenever possible.  We already have some guidelines for social anxiety therapy groups, but in the next year we will have a manual ready for leaders of these groups.  

*Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.

References/citations for the material on the Social Anxiety Association site.

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The Social Anxiety Association

The Social Anxiety Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to meet the growing needs of people with social anxiety.  The SAA became inactive for several years due to lack of resources.  We are in the process of re-doing our website, listing all active, structured CBT groups for social anxiety, and renewing all our licenses.  Major changes will be happening by the end of 2013.  We publish new web content -- concerning social anxiety -- almost daily on the site now.

The Social Anxiety Institute is the largest website on the internet about social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Therapy programs have run at the Institute full-time since 1994.  Major new help for overcoming social anxiety is under development and will be introduced in 2013. 

For treatment: Overcoming social anxiety: Step by Step   A structured guide to overcoming social anxiety (a "How to" guide to get over social anxiety).

The Anxiety Network explains and describes five major anxiety disorders.

Guidelines for listing social anxiety groups on this site.  We cannot officially endorse groups, so check them out thoroughly.  We ask that they be groups that are operating, have a definite leader, and are thoroughly structured.  Social anxiety therapy groups are very different than the groups that operate for other mental health conditions.