Understanding The Silent Struggle With Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety is a mental problem that manifests as intense fear and anxiety of being humiliated in front of people. This disorder can affect anyone regardless of age or gender and significantly affect the quality of life. Social anxiety disorder Flowood can interfere with your ability to complete your daily tasks or even enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.

Signature symptoms of social anxiety

Social anxiety can result in several physical and emotional symptoms that may cause you to avoid social symptoms. You may experience rapid heartbeat, trembling, profuse sweating, or nausea, which can be embarrassing and distressing. You may also experience a constant fear of judgment, self-consciousness, and intense anxiety. You may also find it difficult to initiate or maintain a conversation. If left untreated, this disorder can deteriorate, leading to depression.

The difference between social anxiety and shyness

Although many people use these terms interchangeably, they refer to different things. Shyness is a character trait in which you feel uncomfortable or nervous in unfamiliar situations or social events outside your comfort zone. Shy people may need help expressing themselves but are not necessarily nervous or anxious about social gatherings. On the other hand, social anxiety is a mental disorder that causes an intense fear of social situations. Unlike shyness, social anxiety can interfere with your ability to connect with people, which can significantly affect your performance at work or school. Additionally, it can make you isolate yourself, which may further exacerbate the disorder.

Diagnosis techniques for social anxiety

During your appointment at Precise Research Centers, your provider will discuss your symptoms, review your medical history and conduct a mental health examination. They may require you to explain how often or when you experience intense anxiety. The team may use diagnostic equipment like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to obtain accurate results. They may only recommend this test if you have persistent fear or anxiety about social situations in which you are prone to judgment or scrutiny. If your social anxiety is on the same level as you would experience when under threat, your doctor may recommend this test. The team may also run additional tests to rule out other medical disorders or substance abuse disorders that could mimic the symptoms of social anxiety.

Available treatments for social anxiety

The practice offers various treatment options to help you overcome fear and live a happy life. Psychotherapy and medication are the most effective treatment approaches for this disorder. Your doctor may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy that helps uncover and change your negative thoughts and perspective about yourself and social situations. Exposure therapy, part of cognitive behavioral therapy, involves gradually exposing you to social situations in a controlled space to help you overcome your fear and anxiety.

Your provider may also prescribe selective serotonin to alleviate your symptoms. Precise Research Centers is currently enrolling patients with this disorder in clinical research studies to gauge the effectiveness of various medications in alleviating social anxiety symptoms. There is no cost to participating in this trial, and you get to benefit from the expertise and support of the team during the trial.

Call the Precise Research Centers office or schedule an appointment online to learn more about social anxiety.

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