If you or someone you know is struggling with social anxiety disorder, you must know how difficult life can get for those who are affected by this disorder. While the reasons that lead to this disorder are not entirely known, fortunately, there are treatments and methods to overcome it and control the reactions we have when being exposed to other people.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition that manifests itself when the one suffering from it is exposed to situations when they interact with other people or simply are exposed to other people.
The best way to describe social anxiety disorder is an intense fear of being watched, judged by others, of upsetting them, or embarrassing yourself in front of them. The common social situations when people with social anxiety disorder feel their symptoms exacerbate are: dating, public speaking, meeting new people, starting a new job or moving to a new school, talking to their boss, or going to interviews.
While being nervous in certain situations is entirely normal, social anxiety disorder triggers an intense fear in people who suffer from it, and it keeps on triggering over and over again, manifesting itself for at least 6 months.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
People who suffer from social anxiety disorder often manifest symptoms from the list below when interacting with other people or being exposed to social situations:
- Feeling very embarrassed and awkward when they are around other people.
- Being afraid that other people will judge them.
- Having a hard time meeting new people and making new friends.
- Speaking very softly, getting a rigid body posture, avoiding eye contact.
- Blushing, trembling, sweating, having an increased heart rate when exposed to social situations.
- Manifesting physical symptoms like digestive issues (nausea, diarrhea).
As members of society, it’s very hard to avoid situations when we meet new people, have to perform in front of others, or socialize. This is why getting these intense reactions from social interaction is a disorder and it affects the lives of those suffering from it quite a lot.
Diagnosing Social Anxiety Disorder
When going to a doctor to assess your situation and determine if you do suffer from social anxiety disorder, first they will make sure there is no underlying physical issue that gives you certain symptoms.
There will also be talks and mental health screening tests that will help determine if you are, indeed, suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder
Once it’s established that you are suffering from social anxiety disorders, you can start a treatment plan. This can include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy that will help you cope with the triggers in a healthy way and control your reactions so that normal interactions make you less stressed and fearful.
- Medication: anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and beta-blockers are all examples of medication used to treat social anxiety. Your doctor will carefully prescribe the one that gives you the least side effects while doing its job. Medication is not always included in the treatment plan of social anxiety disorder.
- Joining a support group: being able to relate to others who suffer from the same disorder and exchanging opinions and experiences in a safe space is very helpful in treating social anxiety.
Treatment includes more methods, in most cases. The best approach will be determined with the help of your doctor and it usually includes a support group, therapy, and building healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, eating well, etc.
Your family and friends are also very important in your recovery, as they can support you and provide the closeness you need in the more difficult times.
Do You Want to Overcome Social Anxiety?
If you or a loved one have been struggling with social anxiety disorder, or suspect that it’s what troubles you when interacting with other people, get the help you need by contacting the Dr. Quintal and Associates Counseling Center in Florida.
We offer a free consultation, where we discuss your symptoms, worries, and wishes, and determine what plan of action would suit you best. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we work exclusively remotely, via phone or video call, which allows you to get the treatment you need from the comfort of your home.
Anxiety disorders can be reduced or eliminated, and we are here to help you achieve that. Our specialists have experience in treating social anxiety disorder and will help you change your life and achieve your full potential.