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Anxiety and shyness in social situations are common experiences for many people. As a result of these feelings, you may experience fear or nervousness when participating in social situations. While a moderate amount of anxiety can be expected during social experiences, persistent anxiety in social settings can point to social anxiety disorder.
What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder can present various challenges. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder may include:
- Excessive sweating
- Physically shaking
These feelings might become so intense that you are unable to overcome them. When these feelings overwhelm you and cause you to avoid social situations, you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder.
People experiencing symptoms of social anxiety disorder have trouble handling their feelings when out in public. They might also develop fears surrounding a variety of social events.
If you are struggling with social anxiety disorder, you may find yourself afraid to eat in public or use public restrooms. Meeting new people or having conversations in public might cause high levels of discomfort. The disorder can present differently for everyone, and the intensity of the discomfort can vary in response to different situations.
Who Is Affected by Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder that can affect anyone at any age. This particular anxiety disorder most commonly develops during childhood. Symptoms of this condition for youth may look like extreme shyness during social interactions with others. However, these feelings may intensify during the teenage years when connecting socially with peers is extremely important.
What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?
There are multiple factors that may influence the development of social anxiety disorder. These include:
- Genetics: As with many other mental health disorders, genetics may play a part in your risk for social anxiety disorder. Several areas of the brain are involved with feelings of fear and anxiety. Genetics can influence the way these areas function.
- Environment: There is also a connection between social anxiety disorder and stressful social events early in life. You may develop social anxiety disorder if you have experienced bullying, abuse within your family, or any public embarrassment. If an influential person in your life models behaviors associated with social anxiety disorder, this can also directly affect you.
- Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders: People who struggle with social anxiety disorder may also experience co-occurring disorders. Anxiety symptoms can accompany many other mental health challenges. For example, an individual with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is more likely to develop anxiety symptoms.
People struggling with social anxiety disorder may also develop harmful coping skills leading to the risk of substance use disorders (SUDs). It is essential to address all of the different aspects surrounding social anxiety disorder in order to treat it effectively.
Treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by anxiety surrounding social interactions, there are options available that can help you find healing.
The first step to treating social anxiety disorder is to identify the causes of your feelings. Exploring past experiences or outside influences is essential to finding the root cause of your anxiety. Understanding your unique experiences and challenges will help you figure out how to cope with your symptoms. Working with a mental health professional can help you get to the root of your social anxiety disorder.
Go to Therapy
There are a variety of different therapy options that have proven effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the evidence-based treatments available. During therapy, you and your therapist can focus on unhealthy thought patterns or negative self-talk. By understanding how to challenge these harmful thought patterns, you can find relief and start making positive changes in your life.
Every individual’s experience with anxiety will be unique to them. Sometimes there are neurological components to anxiety, and medication can be an effective tool in managing it. Consulting with a mental health professional will help you decide if you need extra support with medication. There are a variety of medications available that can help treat your anxiety. It will be crucial to follow your treatment plan as prescribed and follow up with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication.
Find Support for Social Anxiety Disorder
If you find yourself needing support or treatment for social anxiety disorder, Alter Wellness Care has the services you need. Our outpatient mental health treatment facility can help you find the care you deserve. Our interdisciplinary team works closely with each client to establish personal goals and develop a unique treatment plan that will fit your needs.
At Alter Wellness Care, evidence-based treatment is at the heart of what we offer. Our team stays up to date on the latest and best treatments available. Our support includes individual and family education, therapy, and medication treatments. We focus on a holistic approach to help our clients feel better in every aspect of their lives.
Whether you are looking for a diagnosis or care for an existing condition, Alter Wellness Care is the place for you or your loved one. We offer various treatment options to help you overcome your social anxiety and feel the confidence to live life to the fullest. Our compassionate team of specialists focuses on a holistic approach to treating mental health. We understand that this broad-ranging expertise enables accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options. We are committed to applying an understanding of mental health that emphasizes treating the person and the disorder at the same time. At Alter Wellness Care, we want you to feel safe and comfortable during every step of treatment. Our facility cares about helping you find healing. Reach out to our team at (866) 311-3510 to find out more about how we can help you overcome your anxiety and start feeling better today.