Most people with social anxiety disorder or social phobia recognize they have excessive or unreasonable fear, yet often avoid those feared situations instead of seeking out help. In the U.S., up to 13% of the population will experience social anxiety during their lifetime. When finding themselves in a feared situation, those with social anxiety typically experience intense anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Experiencing social phobia or social anxiety is tied to the intense fear of being humiliated in social situations in front of other people. For those with social anxiety disorder they often feel that others will judge them as anxious, weak, stupid, inarticulate, that they may “mess up,” or that others may notice their trembling hands or voice. Anxiety can occur during simple social situations such as eating out where needing to speak publicly is not a requirement.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
Some of the symptoms experienced include:
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Muscle tension or trembling
- Shaky voice
- Panic attack in severe cases
Experiencing these symptoms often cause added concern and anxiety over the worry that they will bring unwanted and embarrassing attention.
Types of Social Anxiety Disorder
Social phobia or anxiety can be expressed in several different ways and may occur in a variety of situations; however, those with this disorder will either avoid social or performance situations or find themselves enduring them with intense anxiety or stress. Some of the types of social anxiety include:
- Anticipatory anxiety – fear and anxiety regarding an upcoming event or social situation which can become a vicious cycle leading to feelings of being embarrassed or giving a poor performance which affect future situations
- Generalized social phobia – fear and anxiety is experienced in almost any social interaction
- Non-generalized social anxiety – one or two situations bring anxiety and fear
- Social anxiety disorder – a significant and persistent fear of humiliation or embarrassment in social or performance situations; recognition of their excessive or unreasonable fears; avoidance of feared social and performance events or tolerating only with intense anxiety or distress; the fear, anxiety, and distress experienced interfere with one’s normal routine or relationships; the fear and anxiety reported are not due to medication, a medical condition, substance abuse, or another mental health disorder.
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
Most people with a diagnosed social anxiety disorder need professional treatment to find relief. Treatment which may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, specific psychiatric medications, and use of other adjunct services are highly effective in the treatment of social phobia or anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder Psychiatrist
Stop the suffering, fear, and avoidance of social situations in your life. Treatment is very effective and successful and can stop your social anxiety from limiting your ability to function and enjoy daily living. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment – take steps to get rid of the control anxiety has on your life.