What is social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder involves more than just shyness or butterflies in your stomach on a first date. Also called social phobia, this mental health condition causes intense, uncontrollable fear in everyday social situations, like interacting with the cashier at a store.
People with social anxiety disorder feel extremely self-conscious and afraid of social judgment, humiliation, and rejection.
This fear may prevent you from going to work or school. Other times, social anxiety may only occur during performance situations, like giving a speech or playing sports.
How do I know if I have social anxiety disorder?
Just because you feel shy or uncomfortable in certain situations doesn’t necessarily mean you have social anxiety disorder. Children, especially, may be nervous about new routines or activities.
Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
- Fear of being judged
- Intense fear of meeting new people
- Extreme self-consciousness around people
- Blushing, sweating, and increased heart rate
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Avoiding eye contact and speaking softly
Social anxiety may cause you to avoid common situations, including:
- Attending parties and social events
- Going to work or school
- Eating in a public place
- Using a public restroom
You may have social anxiety disorder if you experience these symptoms for at least six months and they interfere with your everyday life.
Social anxiety disorder usually begins in the early to mid-teens, but younger children and adults can develop this condition as well.
How is social anxiety disorder treated?
Treatments for social anxiety disorder include medications, psychotherapy, or both. Our psychiatrists or primary care physician can prescribe medications to help you with anxiety.
Dr. Messina & Associates practice a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is especially effective in treating social anxiety disorder.
CBT teaches you new ways to think, behave, and react to situations that would typically trigger your anxiety symptoms. This type of therapy helps you feel less anxious and fearful while you learn and practice social skills.
Social anxiety disorder is a lifelong condition, but learning coping skills can help you or your child gain confidence and build healthy relationships. To learn more about social anxiety disorder treatment, call the office of Dr. Messina & Associates or book an appointment online today.
Offering exceptional care for anxiety and depression.
Call us to book your appointment today.