Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety is a specific form of anxiety defined by discomfort and worrying when a social interaction is involved. Often this is due to the concern of being judged by others. These insecurities are very common, they are often about how a person looks or how they act. Social anxiety is a normal part of development, however in some cases it can preset or reappear later on in life. Social anxiety can affect anyone and tends to be very difficult day to day especially after long periods of time. Loneliness can become very common.

To a certain extent, social anxiety is a normal part of life. However, prolonged fear intense fear in multiple social interactions can be categorized by Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia. This is considered to be considerably distressing and tends to impair daily function significantly especially for those who work with or have to interact with others on a daily basis. Similar to other anxiety issues, social anxiety often presents itself with the common symptoms. However people with Social Anxiety tend to act very timid and shy. Additionally, excessive blushing, sweating, trembling, and even vocal stammering can occur.

Commonality

Social anxiety is one of the more common anxiety disorder, however, these statistics are not limited to chronic cases. At least 6.8% of American adults suffer from it with at least 29.9% of cases being severe. That’s approximately 22 million individuals who have experienced some sort of social anxiety in their life.  1

Treatment

As with many other kinds of Anxiety, Social Anxiety is most frequently treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and can be very effective with Social Anxiety. In many cases, it can be helpful to push comfort zones and join a CBT group therapy rather than doing individual therapy. Although both have been proven to be very effective. In addition, medication can be very helpful, although therapy is generally preferred for more mild cases. The use of antidepressant type medications can be very helpful long term, as they tend to provide the necessary energy to start working on non-medication treatment plans. Benzodiazepines are also used for more acute symptoms as the short term effects of this class of medications are very powerful. Generally speaking, prescribers avoid prescribing this for daily long term use as it is a controlled, addictive, substance and can negatively impact anxiety after extended periods of use. There are many other drug types that are used, however these are the two most common general medication classes.