Social Anxiety Psychiatrist Q&A
Social Anxiety can affect your daily life, but treatment is available. Talk to our team of leading healthcare professionals today at Success Health Systems LLC. Call us or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Creve Coeur MO, St. Louis MO, Independence MO, Columbia MO, and Olathe KS.
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Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a condition that affects a person’s daily routine, school, work or other activities. For these people, normal everyday interactions with other people cause significant fear, anxiety, embarrassment, and self-consciousness as they feel that others are judging or scrutinizing them. While it can be normal to feel some butterflies in our stomachs when we are placed in social situations such going out on a date, social anxiety can be debilitating and cause the sufferer to avoid situations where they feel social anxiety. Social anxiety is more than just fear though, it is a chronic mental health condition that is caused by a combination of environmental and biological factors. Other mental health disorders and anxiety disorders often occur alongside social anxiety disorder, particularly depressive disorders and problems with substance abuse. Help is available for social anxiety though to allow individuals to lead a somewhat normal life by reducing the impact that the symptoms have on their life and health.
Social anxiety can be triggered by any social situation where the individual feels that people around them are continuously judging them or scrutinizing them. It is a chronic mental health condition that can be managed through doctor-monitored medication and working with a psychotherapist on developing coping skills to help you lead a normal life. Social anxiety can be the result of several factors. Most likely, it is from a complex interaction of the environmental and biological factors in the sufferer’s life. Some possible causes of social anxiety can include inherited traits although if it is from a genetic disposition or through learned behavior isn’t clear, the structure of the brain and specifically the amygdala, as a heightened fear response seems to be tied to an overactive amygdala, and as a result of an embarrassing or unpleasant social situation.
There is no way to predict who will suffer from a social anxiety disorder or what will trigger it, however, people who are anxious in social situations can take steps to help lessen the impact of their symptoms. Seeking help for your anxiety early on can provide you with options for how to deal with your issues before they get too advanced. Keeping a journal and documenting your feelings and stressors will help you and your mental health care provider to pinpoint where the stress seems to be worse, as well as anything that helps you to feel better. Managing your time and energy by spending time doing things that you enjoy can help by prioritizing positive feelings and experiences. Avoid trying to mask your social anxiety by turning to substances such as drugs and alcohol. They can actually be a cause of anxiety or make your anxiety worse. Quitting them if you have an addiction can also make you anxious but help from a doctor, a treatment program, or a support group can help make it easier.
A therapist can be a great resource to help you with social anxiety. They will have experience dealing with all sorts of mental health conditions and talking through your anxiety with a therapist can help you in multiple ways. Therapists are able to ask gentle probing questions to help understand where your social anxiety started, what type of situations make your anxiety worse, what activities you enjoy doing that don’t cause you anxiety and anything that makes you feel better. You may be asked to keep a journal to document your feelings throughout your day-to-day activities to enable the therapist to gain further insights into your mental processes and see how each activity throughout your day impacts your mental health and social anxiety. This will help your therapist determine the best course of treatment for you and they can provide you with options for coping with your social anxiety throughout the different scenarios you encounter in a day.
For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online! We serve patients from Creve Coeur MO, St. Louis MO, Independence MO, Olathe KS, Columbia MO, Craig KS, Spring Hill KS, Prathersville MO, Pierpont MO, Kirkwood MO, Kansas City MO, River Bend Mo & Beyond!