Today I had the opportunity to meet with a patient that suffers from social anxiety disorder. This patient has asked me to help her identify what her symptoms are and how it could affect her in the future. After research on this specific disorder here is what I have found. Social anxiety disorder affects your emotions and behavior. It can also cause significant physical symptoms. Some of the emotional and behavioral signs may include intense fear of interacting with strangers, feared of being judged, worrying about embarrassing yourself, fear of looking anxious, anxiety disrupts your daily routine, fear of being the center of attention and lack of eye contact. Physical signs of this disorder may include blushing, sweating, trembling, fast heartbeat, upset stomach, nausea, shaky voice, muscle tension, and ...view middle of the document...
If this type of anxiety disrupts your everyday life, you may have social anxiety disorder or another type of mental health condition that requires treatment to get better. Social anxiety disorder symptoms can change over time. They may flare up if you're facing a lot of stress or demands. Or if you completely avoid situations that would usually make you anxious, you may not have symptoms. Although avoidance may allow you to feel better in the short term, your anxiety is likely to persist over the long term if you don't get treatment.
The best course of treatment for social anxiety disorder is cognitive therapy which helps to identify anxieties and the situations that provoke the anxiety. When you first start the treatment you may feel uncomfortable addressing the fearful situations, but this plays a major role to your recovery. Many different types of cognitive-behavioral therapy are used to treat social anxiety disorders, which may include exposure therapy. You will be guided by a counselor and will have to face a feared situation until you no longer fear said situation, an example might be eating in public. Next, you and your counselor will go out to eat in a public place, you will do this over and over until you can eat in public by yourself without any fear. Social skills training will help you gain the skills you need to interact in social situations that you may never thought were possible until now. Your anxiety will be reduced as you become comfortable and as you prepare for those fearful situations. Cognitive reconstruction will help you identify and learn how to improve your thinking, which will help you handle various types of social situations that you once feared.
2005-2014, WebMD, Social Anxiety Treatments, Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/tc/social-anxiety-disorder-treatment-overview
July 1st 2014, Mayo Clinic, What is Social Anxiety, Retrieved from www.mayo.com/anxiety