Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder and is characterized by an intense fear of normal social situations. This causes distress and can impair your ability to function in daily life. You may recognize your anxieties or fears as unreasonable but cannot move to overcome them without help. The anxiety can be generalized – applying to a wide range of social situations – or can be tied to a particular situation.
Symptoms & signs of social anxiety disorder
- Constant fear of being judged by others
- Physical fear response when talking to other people – especially strangers:
- rapid heartbeat
- upset stomach
- Inability to pick up the phone and make a required phone call
- Knowing that the fears are irrational, but being unable to ease them
- Worrying about what others think hours after speaking up in public
- Avoidance of socializing due to fear that you’ve said something inappropriate or behaved inappropriately
When is it time to get help?
Are you feeling frustrated with your inability to interact with others? Are you feeling that you are not reaching your potential in your career due to your anxiety over speaking up? Are you experiencing isolation as you turn down another social invitation? If you find that social anxiety disorder is affecting your life or you ability to thrive, then it is time to seek help.
Social anxiety disorder treatment methods
Social anxiety disorder can be treated in several different ways, including:
- Art therapy clients use their imagination to approach and explore their emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Especially useful in young people and people with developmental delays, when their motor skills exceed their verbal skills, they’ll get more out of art therapy than talk-only.
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is defined by EMDR Canada as an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems that utilized bilateral eye stimulation or somatic responding.
- Emotionally focused therapy is based on observations and experience. It looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interaction.
- Mindfulness therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
In order to choose the right combination of treatments, an assessment will first be done, and together with your therapist, you’ll find the treatment method that best suits your unique personality and circumstances.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
With professional support, you may be surprised at how your life will open up as you learn to overcome this anxiety disorder. We can help you learn strategies to deal with the anxiety you face in everyday social situations. Our nonjudgmental therapists can provide in-person, online, or telephone counselling. Contact us to book an appointment.