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Those suffering from social anxiety are prone to depression

Dr. Reot Tsbag, a graduate of the psychology department at Bar Ilan researches the relationship between social anxiety and depression as part of a post-doctorate at Yale University in the USA

Meet Dr. Reot Tsbag, a recent graduate of Department of Psychology at Bar-Ilan University, an expert clinical psychologist who treats adults and teenagers, and a post-doctoral student at Yale University in the USA. Dr. Tsbag investigates the relationship between social anxiety and depression through longitudinal studies.

"Social anxiety includes shyness and fear of public speaking and fear of criticism from the environment. About half of the people who suffer from social anxiety will develop depression later in life," she explains. "Depression includes low mood, feelings of sadness and impaired quality of life. The purpose of my research is to understand which of those suffering from social anxiety will suffer from depression in the future. I suggest that socially anxious people who have low cognitive flexibility are at increased risk of developing depression."

Dr. Tsbag chose this field of research following her experience as a therapist and diagnostician: "Many times I met diagnosed or patients suffering from social anxiety and a few years later I met them again, when they suffer from social anxiety as well as depression," she says. "When they suffer from both disorders together, it is more difficult to help patients. I believe that the research on those suffering from these disorders has the potential to help many people."

During her doctorate, Dr. Tsbag engaged in teaching, taught research methods and personal theories and served as a teaching assistant in a statistics and abnormal psychology course. She testifies herself that she really enjoys teaching and believes that teaching is an integral part of developing understanding and deepening research.

In addition to teaching, she likes the combination of research and practice and the impact that basic research has on work in the field. "You can see how the combination between the world of treatment and the world of research feed each other and also affect my psyche as a researcher and clinician," she says.

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