If you’re experiencing social anxiety, you’re certainly not all alone – It’s more prevalent than you realize. Social anxiety disorder is a problem that affects 15 million adults across the United States. That’s more than 6 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to ADAA.org
If left untreated, social anxiety disorder can significantly affect your daily life. Fortunately, there are beneficial and efficacious treatments for anxiety-related disorders that can be found.
An Overview of Social Anxiety Disorder
Do you think you’re shy? The first step in treating symptoms of social anxiety disorder is to become familiar with the criteria and symptomatology.
Social anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder but unlike other anxiety disorders like GAD, social anxiety disorder revolves around our social interactions. People suffering from social anxiety disorder experience anxiety related to situations where they fear that they will be judged unfavorably by others. For those with the disorder of generalized anxiety, they are concerned about a variety of issues and issues in all aspects that affect their daily lives not only social interactions. Social anxiety can be triggered by fears of being in crowds, eating or drinking with other people, or speaking in public.
Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms and Signs
- Physical signs, such as nausea, trembling, or sweating, when you are in the presence of other people
- Avoiding social gatherings
- Excessively staying home
- Worrying about being judged by others in a social context
- Overly concerned that people won’t like you
- Fears that others will reject you
- Thinking that other people will notice you are anxious or fearful
- You’re aware that your fear is excessive but are unable to control it.
- Bearing through social situations with anxiety and fear
Social anxiety can be debilitating and leave a person feeling alone and insecure. They may try to manage their anxiety by staying away from people and restricting interactions which may result in continued avoidance behaviors. Social anxiety disorder can cause problems not just in your social life but also affect your capacity to work, attend social events, or spend time with family. It can also impact your ability to connect with others regarding normal everyday tasks like scheduling appointments, requesting assistance, or getting help to handle personal matters.
Social Anxiety Treatment Options for Disorders
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
Approximately 35% of people suffering from social anxiety disorder do not seek treatment immediately, but rather wait an average of 10 years before seeking treatment. This might be caused by the isolating nature of Social Anxiety Disorder which affects an individual’s ability to reach out for help.
Psychotherapy, counseling and medication are all options for treating social anxiety disorder. A combination of therapy and medication is recommended by many professionals. Seeking therapy for social anxiety disorder addresses its root cause. Other ways an individual can try to help themselves is through relaxation techniques that may include mindfulness-training, meditation, and yoga.
If you are interested in taking medication for social anxiety disorder, please discuss the option with your doctor. They will be able to speak with you about the risks and benefits of medication and help you find the one that’s right for you.
These medications are commonly used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – SSRIs are a commonly used antidepressant medication to treat social anxiety disorder.
- Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines are a popular sedative and anti anxiety medication for social anxiety disorder.
Therapy is an integral element of treatment for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder.
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) – currently CBT is the “gold standard” in treating anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder. CBT encourages patients to understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can help the patient control the underlying cause of their anxiety.
Seeking the help of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist or other licensed mental health professional may be beneficial and help provide relief of your symptoms. With help from a professional it’s possible you’ll live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Find Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment in Miami, FL
Treatment for social anxiety disorders could be the solution you’ve been searching for. It’s the right time to begin having fun and enjoying your relationships once more.
Hello, I’m Dr. Carolina Raeburn, a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a subspecialty in neuropsychology in Miami. I help people with emotional concerns and those adjusting to life changes. I offer coaching and bespoke psychotherapy for individuals and couples, providing cognitive behavioral therapy, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, panic attack treatment, stress management, as well as help those going through life changes, such as grief and loss, chronic and terminal illness, injuries, retirement, perfectionism, and much more.
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*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.