We hear terms like “social anxiety disorder” or “panic attacks” all the time. Do you ever wonder what the “officially” recognized anxiety disorders are? Well, to find out, you need a little history…
Psychiatrists in the U.S. (and around the world) use a standard manual of recognized mental disorders when diagnosing and treating mental disorders The manual is referred to as “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (or “DSM”), and it is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides diagnostic criteria for mental disorders.
The DSM has been revised five times since it was first published in 1952 (so the current manual is referred to as “DSM-V”). For a mental disorder to be “officially” recognized, it must be in the DSM.
A number of social anxiety disorders are recognized by the DSM-V, including: a variety of different panic disorders, specific phobia, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (or OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD), acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD), substance-induced anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorder not otherwise specified.
Social anxiety disorder is generally categorized under the “social phobia” category. Check back at this site, and we’ll review some of the diagnostic information provided in the DSM regarding social anxiety disorder (as well as some of the other recognized social phobias).