Information for the public
Help with other problems for adults
If you also have symptoms of depression, a health or social care professional should offer you an assessment for this too. They should find out whether your depression is linked to your social anxiety and should ask you which started first.
If your depression started first, you should be offered treatment for depression. See Other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on depression.
If your social anxiety started first, the professional should ask you: "if I gave you a treatment that ensured you were no longer anxious in social situations, would you still be depressed?"
If your answer is "No", and your depression is not very severe, you should be offered treatment for your social anxiety disorder.
If your answer is "No", but your depression is very severe, you should be offered treatment for depression.
If your answer is "Yes", you may be offered treatment for both depression and social anxiety disorder. You should be asked which you would prefer to be treated first.
If you start treatment for your depression first, you should be offered treatment for social anxiety after your depression has improved.
Health or social care professionals should ask you about your use of alcohol or drugs, and whether you drink or take drugs to cope with social situations. If you have an alcohol or drug problem, you should be offered a brief treatment or an appointment with a specialist alcohol or drug misuse service. See Other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on alcohol-use disorders and drug misuse. Treatment for an alcohol or drug problem should not stop you from having treatment for social anxiety disorder.