Social Anxiety Symptoms and Treatment
We, Vantage Point Recovery, offer social anxiety treatment to individuals distressed from fear of certain social situations and specific 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 provide you with one-to-one therapy sessions to treat your social anxiety disorder.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety is a psychological condition that makes a person suffer extreme fear of social circumstances and being close to others. An individual with this condition generally fears being judged by the people around them to a debilitating extent. This fear repeatedly discourages them from engaging in wholesome activities and relationships. Individuals with social anxiety symptoms commonly suffer from self-consciousness and fear of getting mortified or insulted. Unfortunately, even average everyday social interactions can devastate them.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is sometimes referred to as a social phobia.
Origins of SAD may develop from a combination of things, including genetic factors, brain chemistry, personal history, life events, and environmental factors. And similar to how there is a major difference between having a case of the blues and a depressive disorder, there is a huge difference between being shy and suffering from social anxiety disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Social phobia is a strong fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed.”
People who suffer from this disorder may worry and panic about minor social encounters, like going grocery shopping alone or having to ask a waiter a question at a restaurant. For bigger social events, an individual may be overcome with physical symptoms that would prohibit them from participating or even leaving the house.
It is a chronic mental health illness, which can have a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. This disorder can manifest differently in people, but regardless of the level, SAD it is a form of extreme shyness.
Shaking, sweating, nausea, and increased heart rate are a few common physical social anxiety symptoms that may occur.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Causes Social Anxiety?
A complex interplay of biological and environmental factors is usually the cause of social anxiety disorder.
- Structure of Brain: A brain structure known as the “Amygdala” plays a role in controlling the fear response. Individuals with an overactive amygdala have a heightened fear response, causing increased anxiety in social situations.
- Inherited Traits: Mental health disorders tend to run in families. However, it isn’t entirely clear how much of this may be due to heredities or due to learned behavior.
- Environment: Social anxiety can be caused by stressful or traumatic events around you. Some people develop severe anxiety after embarrassing and unpleasant social situations. There are many risk factors such as family history, temperament, negative experiences, new social or work demands, or having an appearance or condition that draws attention.
Typical Social Anxiety Symptoms
It is different from shyness, because SAD is often paralyzing for an individual. People suffering from the disorder fear being judged in social settings or during performances 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. If forced in particular settings, sufferers may start blushing, sweating, trembling, or even experience chest pain or nausea. This disorder can be problematic because it can severely hinder people from living their lives. SAD can affect the ability to work, attend school, or participate in activities of any kind. It can also affect potential friendships, familial connections, intimate relationships, or any other aspect of a person’s social life.
It can affect both men and women of all ages. SAD often starts during the later phases of childhood. Persistent symptoms of six months or longer will usually lead to a diagnosis. According to studies, “About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder.” Symptoms usually start at around age thirteen, although, people will wait years before finding help for their disorder.
As mentioned above, Social Anxiety is an illness in which the fear of social situations, specifically fearing judgment and embarrassment in those situations, is excessive. Therefore, when someone is in a social situation, they may encounter the below mentioned social anxiety symptoms:
- a racing heart
- shortness of breath
- sweating palms
- feeling hot
To avoid these experiences, it’s common for people with Social Anxiety Symptoms to withdraw from people and social activities. They frequently isolate and spend time alone, when possible. The worry and anxiety may become so intense for some people that they no longer have the ability to look at social situations in an objective way.
In several circumstances, individuals with the disorder may even be conscious that the social anxiety they’re encountering is absurd. Nonetheless, they might still feel vulnerable to the situation. Social Anxiety Symptoms are getting worse if it’s not treated at an early stage. Once you notice behavioral changes when you are in a social gathering or fear of attaining social situations, you must concern a doctor to find out how to deal with this disorder.
What is the Social Anxiety Treatment?
Suppose you are concerned about having a social anxiety disorder, talk to a health provider from a Vantage Point Recovery. Our health care provider may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. A diagnosis, generally from a mental health professional, 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 doctor to determine the best course of action for you.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is a research-supported type of psychotherapy used to treat social anxiety disorder. It teaches you new ways of thinking, acting, and reacting to circumstances to make you feel less nervous and afraid. CBT can also assist you in learning and practicing social skills, which is crucial in social anxiety treatment.
- Exposure Therapy is a CBT method that focuses on progressively confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help you engage in activities you have been avoiding. Relaxation activities are occasionally used in conjunction with exposure therapy. CBT performed in a group treatment setting has its own set of advantages for social anxiety disorder.
- ACT offers a different approach to negative thoughts than CBT and employs tactics like mindfulness and goal planning to help you feel better. Compared to CBT, ACT is a newer form of psychotherapy treatment, so fewer data are available on its effectiveness. However, different therapies work for different types of people, so it can be helpful to discuss what form of therapy may be right for you with a mental health professional.
Our health care providers may prescribe 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
Intensive Outpatient Social Anxiety Treatment:
We offer intensive outpatient social anxiety treatment for the social anxiety through a combination of therapy and individualized programs. In our treatment program, we provide weekly therapy sessions in the center. You can get treatment even while allowing you to do everyday things without putting your life back on hold.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Social Anxiety Disorder
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most common and successful treatment methods for SAD. When therapists use this approach, they help patients understand the core elements of social anxiety and their own triggers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) also helps uncover negative and incorrect thoughts, in addition to changing them. Therapists can change behaviors through talk therapy or exercises where patients talk or write down the negative thoughts they associate with their social fears. They then challenge them by writing down reasons why their thoughts are untrue.
For instance, people sometimes think, I don’t want to speak in meetings because people will make fun of me. The therapist would then have the patient list their positive attributes that would disprove that notion, like friendships within the office, time employed there, or successful projects completed. The exercise proves, through concrete evidence, why the patient’s negative thoughts are incorrect. CBT also works to find alternative healthy coping mechanisms to minimize social anxiety.
If Social Anxiety Symptoms are severe, they may result in a panic disorder, chest pain, nausea, or shaking. Medication may be prescribed to help ease the dangerous physical manifestations of the disorder. Antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are used for ongoing symptoms of social anxiety. Additionally, physicians may prescribe a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), like venlafaxine, to curb more intense elements of this disorder. Medication is given only at the discretion of a practicing physician.
We are here for you
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 professional 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.