Traumatic and socially stressful life events among persons with social anxiety disorder

J Anxiety Disord. 2006;20(7):896-914. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2005.05.006. Epub 2006 Feb 21.


This study examined the frequency of reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms most often associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 45 persons with social anxiety disorder and 30 nonanxious controls in response to an extremely stressful social event (which did not satisfy DSM-IV's PTSD Criterion A). Avoidance and hyperarousal in response to reminders of socially stressful events were common among patients; more than one-third would have met criteria for PTSD if these events satisfied DSM-IV PTSD Criterion A. Frequency of this PTSD-like symptom pattern did not differ among patients who did and did not experience another event that did satisfy PTSD Criterion A. Implications of these findings for the treatment of social anxiety disorder are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Symptoms
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pennsylvania
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology