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Social anxiety disorder may increase risk of alcoholism, study suggests

ANI | Updated: Mar 13, 2019 17:38 IST

Washington D.C. [USA] Mar 13 (ANI): Unlike other anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder may have a direct effect on alcoholism, a recent study suggests.
For the study, researchers assessed alcoholism, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobias through interviews with 2,801 adult Norwegian twins.
Social anxiety disorder had the strongest association with alcoholism, and it predicted alcoholism over and above the effect of other anxiety disorders. In addition, social anxiety disorder was linked with a higher risk of later developing alcoholism, whereas other anxiety disorders were not.
The findings, published in the Journal of Depression and Anxiety, suggest that interventions aimed at prevention or treatment of social anxiety disorder may have an additional beneficial effect of preventing alcoholism.
"Many individuals with social anxiety are not in treatment. This means that we have an underutilized potential, not only for reducing the burden of social anxiety, but also for preventing alcohol problems," said Fartein Ask Torvik, lead author of the study.
Researchers suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy with controlled exposure to the feared situations has shown good results." (ANI)
 

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