What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

You are not shy, quiet, withdrawn, aloof or stuck up. Contrary to how others may perceive you, you want to be included in groups and be involved and engaged in social interactions. You want people to see you as friendly and outgoing and easy to talk to. Instead, you often feel like a deer in headlights when immersed in social situations. You are overwhelmed with emotion as your heart races, your hands tremble and your face feels frozen. Here it is again. That fear that is holding you back. If this sound familiar, you might have Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD-also referred to as Social Phobia).

SAD is the third largest mental health care problem in the world today. Alcoholism is first, followed by depression, and social anxiety is third. Studies show that 2 to 13% of the U.S. population experiences social anxiety at some point in their lives.

It is the most common type of anxiety in teenagers and more common in women.

Individuals with SAD worry about being negatively being judged by others in one or more social or performance situations.

They fear that they will act in a way that will be humiliating.

Exposure to the feared social situation usually provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a panic attack.

They recognize that this worry or fear is excessive but avoid or endure social situations with intense anxiety or distress.

SAD can interfere with your academic, occupational and interpersonal functioning. It can cause you to miss school or work because of a fear of answering questions in a big meeting or talking in class. Social anxiety, like other anxiety disorders, can be successfully treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). If you think that you are or a loved one suffers from SAD, contact us to learn more about the various treatment options available.