Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
We, Vantage Point Recovery, offer the best treatment for social anxiety to individuals distressed from fear of social situations and concerns of being negatively judged by others. Our mental health facilities include a comfortable and safe environment, experienced medical professionals, a structured framework, a fitness regime, therapy sessions, medications, and so on. We offer one-on-one therapy sessions as a part of our social anxiety treatment program.
What is social anxiety?
Social anxiety is also referred to as social phobia and is characterized by an overwhelming and persistent fear of being negatively judged by others. Social anxiety is a prevalent form of anxiety and affects a large number of individuals. If you or your loved one is suffering from this condition, you may experience fear and panic in social settings. These situations may range from general interactions to specific situations. Here are a few examples where you might find difficulty:
- Socializing with new people
- Attending social gatherings
- Sharing opinions in a group setting
- Using modes of public transportation
- Making eye contact
- Attending workshops, seminars, etc.
- Take part in public performances
- Speaking to an audience
- Handling phone calls in front of others
- Using public restrooms
- Asking for help in public places like restaurants and stores
- Eating in front of others, and in public
A core aspect of social anxiety treatment is the correction of this strong feeling of judgment, rejection, and humiliation. The fear of these can significantly impact the overall quality of life of an individual.
Recognizing and addressing these fears through therapy and medication is essential for relief and empowerment on the journey toward managing and treatment of social anxiety.
What does Vantage Point think about social anxiety treatment?
We, at Vantage Point, understand that social anxiety can cast a shadow over your ability to engage with the world with full potential. Our perspective on social anxiety treatment is rooted in compassion, expertise, and commitment to help you navigate the complex journey toward emotional and mental well-being.
We believe in a holistic approach to treatment. We know that you are a unique individual with unique symptoms and experiences. Our dedicated team is well-equipped to provide customized care and guidance for your recovery.
Our approach integrates evidence-based therapies with a non-judgmental, calm, and warm environment. We aim to empower you to face your fears and build confidence in social interactions. Vantage Point is here to provide you with support and guidance to promote growth, strength, and a greater sense of confidence in engaging with the world.
What causes social anxiety? Causes, roots, and triggers?
It is crucial to understand the factors that come into play and trigger social anxiety. The exact reason cannot be pinpointed to one single factor but to a rather complex interplay of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. We list some of the factors that can cause or trigger social anxiety:
Having a first-degree relative with social anxiety can be the reason behind yours. Family history increases the chances of developing mental health disorders. Your genes may influence your brain chemistry and your anxious responses.
Any imbalance in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine can cause the development of SAD. Dopamine and serotonin are responsible for controlling your mood and mood-related responses.
Bullying, teasing, or social isolation in your childhood can be potent reasons for the development of social anxiety. Other traumatic events and negative social interactions during your childhood can also be potential triggers.
Watching and observing negative social behavior and interactions can also cause the development of social anxiety. This could happen in your family, school, society, city, or country.
Distorted thinking patterns and the influence of social factors (surroundings, relatives, friends, politicians) on your brain will cause you to focus excessively on the negative outcomes of a social setting.
Irregularities in the functioning of your brain regions can be the cause of your social anxiety. Amygdala is linked to responses to fear and the prefrontal cortex is related is associated with decision making and regulation of emotions. Any irregularities can harm you adversely.
Personality traits such as being extremely introverted and/or having low self-esteem can slowly develop into social anxiety.
Most people develop mental health disorders during their adolescence. This is a time of heightened self-consciousness and peer interactions. These interactions become building blocks for adulthood.
Childhood interactions with your parents affect your cognitive behavior. Overprotective and controlling parents affect this cognitive behaviour negatively, unknowingly.
The above-mentioned factors interact with your functioning in complex ways. Certain individuals can withstand these changes and stay normal, while others will succumb and develop mental health disorders.
How to know if you have social anxiety? Signs and Symptoms?
It’s not easy to draw a definite distinction between someone who just doesn’t like being around people, and someone who’s got social anxiety – but the primary difference would most certainly be the absence or presence of total fear.
The idea of being at a party or gathering may distress you.
We can help you with it. Call (866) 934-4173 today to speak with our Admissions staff.
SAD is often paralyzing for an individual. People suffering from the disorder fear being judged in social settings to the point where they may experience panic attacks or develop agoraphobia.
This disorder is characterized by an individual’s persistent and crushing fear of social situations.
Symptoms of social phobia are riddled with emotional overreactions not on par with what someone would describe as “dislike”. When in any social situation, you’re likely to have social anxiety if you:
- Do everything you can to not be in a social situation
- You fear being around other people, to the point that it haunts you and stresses you out
When you are around others, you:
- Sweat profusely
- Shake and tense up
- Suffer an upset stomach
- Have a racing heart
- Feel dizzy
- Experience nausea
- Have shortness of breath
- Have stress, tension, or anxiety
Social Anxiety Disorder can affect both men and women of all ages. It often starts during the later phases of childhood, usually around age thirteen.
According to studies, “About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder” and over a third of them only begin to seek help for their phobia over a decade after symptoms first start.
We understand why. You’re scared of judgment. You don’t want to suffer through humiliation or risk feeling powerless and vulnerable. And although you know you have a problem and are much more sensitive to social awkwardness than anyone else you know, it feels extremely hard to fight against it and seek help.
We make it easier – we focus on judgment-free treatment, and we discuss every step of the way with you so you know what’s coming. Some of the techniques that we explore on the road to help you overcome your social anxiety disorder are discussed below.
How we approach social anxiety treatment?
If you are suffering from a social anxiety disorder, talk to a health provider at Vantage Point Recovery. Our healthcare provider will refer you to a mental health professional. A diagnosis, generally from a psychologist, is the first step toward effective therapy.
Psychotherapy (known as “talk therapy”), Medication, or a combination of the two is used to treat social anxiety disorder. Consult our mental health expert to determine the best course of action for you.
Our SAD treatments include the following therapies:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
- Exposure Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a research-backed therapy used to treat social anxiety disorder. It is one of the most common and successful treatment methods for Social Anxiety. When therapists use this approach, they help you understand the core elements of social anxiety and your personal triggers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) uncovers negative and incorrect thoughts and then helps you change them.
It teaches you new ways of thinking, acting, and reacting to circumstances to make you feel less nervous and afraid. CBT assists you in learning and practicing social skills, which is crucial in social anxiety treatment.
It is a CBT method that focuses on progressively confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help you engage in activities that you have been avoiding. Relaxation activities are occasionally used in conjunction with exposure therapy.
CBT can be performed in a group setting or treated individually. Both have their benefits and the choice will depend on your condition and professional advice.
ACT offers a different approach to negative thoughts than CBT. It employs tactics like mindfulness and goal planning to help you feel better. ACT is a newer form of psychotherapy treatment, so little data is available on its effectiveness. However, discussing it with your doctor is the right way to go.
You may require medication to treat social anxiety disorder. Different types of medication can be effective in treating this disorder, including:
- Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines
We offer intensive outpatient treatment for social anxiety through a combination of therapy and individualized programs. In our treatment program, we provide weekly therapy sessions in the center. This can help you pursue your treatment while doing everyday tasks.
There are also group therapies at our treatment center in which every member suffers from a similar condition. In such a group, you get unbiased and honest feedback from others. This gives you clarity on your thoughts; that your thoughts about judgment and rejection are not true or distorted. Participating in a social group for social anxiety treatment will also teach you how others approach and overcome their fear of social situations. This therapy gives you the confidence to face your fears.
Vantage Point is here to assist in your journey toward healthy living
Nothing is particularly set in stone when it comes to mental illness. What might appear to be social anxiety might turn out to be general anxiety once treatment begins. As professionals, it’s in our nature to adapt and change our methods based on how you react to treatment. We don’t pick a course and stay with it against better judgment. Your treatment will conform to your situation until we find a way to help you as best as possible. That’s the special thing about our services. At Vantage Point, we build a complete social anxiety disorder treatment plan that:
- Is undoubtedly built around you
- Works with you and incorporates your active participation
- Molds itself around your needs, including work and family needs
- Tackles your problem comprehensively, taking into account the possibility of other issues besides your anxiety
We don’t force our treatments on people that don’t respond well to them – and we don’t try or guess aimlessly until we stumble upon what works. Your valuable input about the treatment is crucial for proper treatment and it helps us to get you to a point where you’re reliably coping with your anxiety.
Are you suffering from Social Anxiety?
Let us help you. Call (866) 934-4173 today to speak with our Admissions staff.
Listed below are some common questions about social anxiety disorder:
Is Social Anxiety common?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 7.1% of adults in the United States suffered from social anxiety. The prevalence of this disorder was higher for females (8%) than for males (6.1%).
About 12.1% of adults in the United States have suffered from social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Is Social Anxiety treatment common?
Social anxiety disorder treatment is not as common as its occurrence. According to a survey by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 36% of the people who took treatment reported having experienced the symptoms for over 10 years before seeking social anxiety treatment.
What are the different stages of social anxiety?
Understanding the patient’s condition is the first step in treating social anxiety. Social anxiety has three stages, and understanding them is crucial to getting the best possible treatment.
- Mild state of social anxiety:
- Moderate state of social anxiety
- Extreme social anxiety
In the case of mild social anxiety, you may experience physical and behavioral symptoms, while still being able to participate in these situations. You may also experience anxiety only in specific (not all) social situations.
If you are suffering from a moderate stage of social anxiety, you will experience physiological and physical symptoms of social anxiety. You will avoid certain situations while being able to participate in others.
If you are in the extreme stage of social anxiety, you may suffer from more severe symptoms such as a panic attack. You will try to avoid all social situations. These symptoms may re-appear in all social opportunities.
How is social anxiety different from shyness?
Being shy and being anxious socially, are completely different things. Shyness doesn’t affect your life and day-to-day activities. Social anxiety however prevents you from doing everyday things such as meeting new people, going out shopping, ordering food, or pursuing education and career. Social anxiety also adversely affects your existing relationships as the stage of anxiety grows from mild to moderate to extreme.
To conclude, social anxiety is different from shyness based on the intensity and impact that it has on your life. Three major factors can help you to differentiate between shyness and social anxiety:
- Impact on your life:
- Intensity of fear:
- Avoidance Behaviour:
Shyness: It has a limited impact on your life, functioning, and your relationships.
Social anxiety: It hinders your day-to-day activities, and affects your relationships, your career, and academic pursuits.
Shyness: Shyness only causes a mild disturbance or nervousness in social settings.
Social anxiety: It is characterized by an intense and overwhelming fear of being judged, embarrassed, or scrutinized in social contexts.
Shyness: It only causes slight avoidance of certain situations. You will however be able to participate when needed.
Social anxiety: There is a significant way in which your personal life is affected and you begin to avoid most social gatherings. This leads to isolation and causes stress.
You may often confuse social anxiety with shyness and begin to think that it is a coherent part of your personality. But that is not the case, as you have now understood and should therefore seek medical interference and begin your social anxiety treatment.
How to overcome social anxiety and shyness?
Your shyness and anxiety don’t necessarily have to last a lifetime. You can incorporate some changes in your lifestyle to gain a burst of confidence and get rid of your shyness and social anxiety.
- Do small talks – Take big steps toward recovery
- Let passion drive you
- Stop worrying about people and situations
- Embrace setbacks, achieve more
Small talks with family members and friends will boost your confidence and calm your nerves.
Explore your strengths and pursue them. Pursuing your strengths with passion, and succeeding in it, will clear any self-doubt and motivate you to participate in new things.
Your brain fools you into thinking that every mistake that you do is noticed by people around you. They judge you, and therefore you begin avoiding social situations. But doing so puts you at the risk of isolation and phases of depression.
When in social situations, notice everything that you do. Be your critic and identify the problems. Are you struggling to make eye-contacts or avoiding handshakes? Use any setbacks as stepping stones to learn and grow more.
Is social anxiety disorder treatable?
YES, social anxiety treatment works, and social anxiety is highly treatable. Various forms of psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both are used in social anxiety disorder treatment.
- About 70%-90% of people who receive treatment, see improvements in symptoms and can live better lifestyles.
- About 20%-30% of people do not respond to one particular treatment. A combination of medication and psychotherapy is used for such patients.
- 30%-50% suffer symptoms recurrence at some stage in their life. Most of these patients fail to avoid triggers, do not follow maintenance therapies and neglect continued therapy that prevents relapse.
In the case of mental health disorders, people forget that there is always the fear of relapse and tend to be careless about continued therapies and other lifestyle changes. You are your loved one, should consult a mental health provider for such intricate details and follow them.
How long will social anxiety last?
Social anxiety can last for your entire lifetime if left untreated. Taking psychotherapy, medication, or taking both as a form of social anxiety treatment can help you overcome symptoms or drastically lessen them. You will learn to live with the disorder but not let it overwhelm you.
How do medical health experts diagnose social anxiety disorder?
Your mental health care expert will consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association to determine if you have a mental health disorder and identify it.
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your experiences and symptoms and then consult the DSM-5 to identify the presence/type of mental health disorder.
When should you see your healthcare provider?
You should consult your doctor as soon as you feel that you have developed symptoms. Getting treatment for social anxiety is crucial for you to reach your full potential and enjoy the life ahead.
If you have already been diagnosed with the disorder, then you must visit your doctor regularly. In case your treatment is not working, or you are developing new symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
You should also consult your doctor when you want to stop medication. Stopping medication in the case of mental health disorders also requires professional intervention.
What should you ask your doctor?
When talking about your social anxiety with your doctor, you must ask every question that picks your mind. Remember that your doctor will provide information, guidance, and support regarding your mental health. Asking questions will help you make informed decisions about managing your social anxiety. Here are some questions that you can put forward:
- Do my symptoms indicate social anxiety?
- How is the diagnosis conducted?
- How will my disorder be treated?
- Will my treatment be successful?
- How long will my treatment last?
- How will my progress be monitored?
- Are there any lifestyle changes that I should make?
In the End:
Everyone experiences moments of unease, which can be amplified depending on the situation. You must not allow it to overtake you, even if it feels overwhelming. You can trust us and our mental health professionals for social anxiety treatment.
Wellness activities such as eco-therapy, yoga, meditation, or mindfulness training, in addition to traditional therapeutic modalities such as psychotherapy, may be beneficial.
These techniques can help to alleviate the disorder’s more severe symptoms. This disorder can be treated and will not control your life if it is utilized in conjunction with support systems and frequent counseling from us.
If you or someone you know is suffering from social anxiety symptoms, then contact our experienced mental health professional for support at (866) 482-2761.