Some argue that inherent problems with society such as a competitive culture, power imbalances, lack of care and poor social education in families cause social anxiety; they feel the diagnostic boundaries have been stretched too far and that clinical and media work is promoting the idea that any problems with shyness or social worries are a pathological medical condition requiring medical treatment.
Some see this as being driven by pharmaceutical companies, either by direct advertising to the public or their financial influence on psychiatry.
This view can be associated with anti-psychiatry.
Proponents of this view argue that drug companies try to increase profits by inventing new diseases or labels.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) is the only U.S. nonprofit organization solely dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders in children and adults.
Forty million U.S. adults, or one in six adults, suffer from an anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in adults and children.
The six anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), panic disorder, and specific phobias.
ADAA offers free educational information and resources about anxiety disorders, local treatment provider referrals, self-help groups, self-tests, clinical trial listings, and more. ADAA promotes the message that anxiety disorders are real, serious, and treatable.
Jerilyn Ross is the president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
Founded in 1980 as the Phobia Society of America by a diverse group of clinicians and patients, ADAA changed its name 10 years later to better reflect the distinct anxiety disorders that more sophisticated research had identified.
The organization continues to serve clinicians, researchers, and consumers from its Silver Spring, Md., headquarters by funding cutting-edge scientific research through grants and awards and by promoting awareness to remind Americans that anxiety disorders are real and treatable.
ADAA is guided by a board of directors, scientific advisory board, and clinical advisory board and is supported through donations.
The association also holds an annual conference that is the only professional meeting to focus on the science and treatment of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders in children and adults.
ADAA also publishes self-help books such as “Facing Panic,” “Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder,” and informational brochures that are available exclusively through its website.
In spring 2008, ADAA launched “Treat It,
Don’t Repeat It: Break Free From OCD,” a national educational campaign about obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The campaign included public service announcements featuring Howie Mandel, host of “Deal or No Deal;” Tony Shalhoub, star of the award-winning TV Series “Monk” about a detective with OCD; and David Hoberman, co-creator and executive producer of “Monk.”