Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University, Mount Lebanon Hospital, Lebanon
Social anxiety disorder is a debilitating mental illness with eventually serious comorbidities such as major depression and alcohol or substance abuse and dependence. Those comorbidities are much more common when social phobia is left neglected and untreated. It is characterized by excessive fears to one or most social situations (circumscribed versus generalized type). Social phobia has its onset typically in childhood or early adolescence and it is associated with significant functional impairment. Although cognitive behavioral therapy and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are considered the mainstay treatment of this disorder, other psychotropic agents can be of value in the management of this condition. This review discusses the efficacy of beta-bockers, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, D-cycloserine, buspirone and atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of social anxiety disorder.